Psychological function predicts symptom severity, QOL in AF patients
Psychological functioning consistently predicts symptom severity and health-related quality of life (hr-QOL) in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with preserved left ventricular (LV) function, a recent study has found.
Researchers enrolled 78 consecutive patients (mean age 60±9 years; 77 percent male) with symptomatic AF and preserved LV systolic function, in whom two validated questionnaires were used to measure AF-related symptom burden and hr-QOL. The Global Measure of Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the Type D Personality Scale (TPDS) were used to measure psychological functioning.
Majority of the participants (64 percent; n=50) had moderate-to-severe AF-related symptoms, while 36 percent (n=26) had at most mild symptoms. Hr-QOL was significantly different between these two groups, with the former scoring significantly lower on the Short-Form Health Survey (38.9±10.1 vs 50.1±5.1; p<0.0001).
Moreover, those with moderate-to-severe symptoms scored significantly higher on the PSS (16.7±4.4 vs 5.4±4.4; p<0.0001) and were much more likely to manifest a Type D personality (20 of 50 vs 4 of 28; p=0.012), which denotes a high degree of negative affectivity and social inhibition.
Multivariable adjusted linear regression models showed that only higher scores on the PSS (coefficient, 0.63; p<0.001) and TDPS (coefficient, 0.55; p<0.001) were significant and independent predictors of more severe AF-specific symptoms.
Similarly, only PSS (coefficient, –0.45; p=0.002) and TDPS (coefficient, –0.48; p=0.005) were significantly predictive of worse hr-QOL.
Persistent AF, age, body mass index, obstructive sleep apnoea and exposure to flecainide were significant on unadjusted analyses but were all attenuated after adjusting for confounders.