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Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2002 Summer;17(3):110-23, 141.

Atrial fibrillation: the newest frontier in arrhythmia management.

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Department of Nursing, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


At least 2.3 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation. Since the risk for developing atrial fibrillation increases with age, the number of people with atrial fibrillation is expected to rise sharply. Atrial fibrillation is a complex condition that adversely influences mortality, morbidity, quality of life, and use of health care resources. Knowledge generated from extensive research has led to innovative management strategies. As the number of individuals with atrial fibrillation increases and treatment options expand, nurses in a variety of settings will be challenged to respond to the multifaceted needs of this population. This review discusses the significance of atrial fibrillation and summarizes research findings influencing current management strategies. Pharmacologic therapies are reviewed and new technologies for atrial fibrillation treatment are introduced. Nursing assessment and treatment of patients' response to atrial fibrillation are discussed. Recommendations for patient education are offered. A plan describing specific nursing diagnoses, outcomes, interventions, and activities for care of patients with atrial fibrillation is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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