Health care professionals’ perceptions about atrial fibrillation care in the Brazilian public primary care system: a mixed-methods study

Elisabete Paschoal, Tiffany Gooden, Rodrigo D Olmos, Paulo A Lotufo, Isabela M Benseñor, Semira Manaseki-Holland, Gregory Lip, G Neil Thomas, Kate Jolly, Emma Lancashire, Deirdre Lane*, Sheila Greenfield, Alessandra C Goulart*, NIHR Global Health Research Group on Atrial Fibrillation Management

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) negatively impacts health systems worldwide. We aimed to capture perceptions of and barriers and facilitators for AF care in Brazilian primary care units (PCUs) from the perspective of healthcare professionals (HCPs).

This mixed-methods, cross-sectional study utilised an exploratory sequential design, beginning with the quantitative data collection (up to 18 closed questions) immediately followed by a semi-structured interview. HCPs were recruited from 11 PCUs in the Sao Paulo region and included managers, physicians, pharmacists, nurses and community health agents. Descriptive statistics were used to present findings from the quantitative questionnaire and inductive analysis was used to identify themes from the qualitative data.

One hundred seven HCPs were interviewed between September 2019 and May 2020. Three main themes were identified that encapsulated barriers and facilitators to AF care: access to care (appointments, equipment/tests and medication), HCP and patient roles (HCP/patient relationship and patient adherence) and the role of the organisation/system (infrastructure, training and protocols/guidelines). Findings from the qualitative analysis reinforced the quantitative findings, including a lack of AF-specific training for HCPs, protocols/guidelines on AF management, INR tests in the PCUs, patient knowledge of AF management and novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) as key barriers to optimal AF care.

Development and implementation of AF-specific training for PCU HCPs are needed in Brazil, along with evidence-based protocols and guidelines, educational programmes for patients, better access to INR tests for patients taking warfarin and availability of NOACs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number559
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2022


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Mixed-methods
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Qualitative
  • Questionnaire
  • Primary care
  • Brazil
  • LMIC
  • Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology
  • Research Article


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