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Br J Haematol. 2006 Mar;132(5):598-603.

A randomised control trial of patient self-management of oral anticoagulation compared with patient self-testing.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, University College London Hospitals, London, UK.


Several studies suggest that patient self-management (PSM) may improve the quality of oral anticoagulation therapy as measured by time spent within the international normalised ratio (INR) target range. We performed a prospective randomised control trial to determine whether the improvement in quality of treatment afforded by PSM is greater than that achieved by patient self-testing (PST) alone. A total of 104 of 800 eligible patients aged 22-88 years (median = 59.8), attending our hospital anticoagulant clinic and receiving long-term warfarin for >8 months agreed to participate. Patients were randomised to PSM (n = 55) or PST (n = 49). Both groups measured their INR using the CoaguChek S every 2 weeks or more frequently if required, for a period of 6 months. Seventy-seven of 104 (74%) patients completed the study (PSM = 41 and PST = 36). The 'drop out' rates for both groups were similar. There was no significant difference between the percentage time in target therapeutic range for PSM (69.9%) and PST (71.8%). Both groups combined showed a significant improvement over the previous 6 months (71.0% vs. 62.5%; P = 0.04). Changes in time within the therapeutic range in individual patients (+5.86) also showed a significant difference. The quality of warfarin control in both PST and PSM may be superior to that achieved by conventional management in a specialised hospital anticoagulation clinic.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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