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General practitioners’ perceptions on opportunistic single-time point screening for atrial fibrillation: A European quantitative survey

Vermunicht, Paulien; Grecu, Mihaela; Deharo, Jean-Claude; Buckley, Claire M.; Palà, Elena; Mairesse, Georges H.; Farkowski, Michal M.; Bergonti, Marco; Pürerfellner, Helmut; Hanson, Coral L.; Neubeck, Lis; Freedman, Ben; Witt, Henning; Hills, Mellanie T.; Lund, Jenny; Giskes, Katrina; Engler, Daniel; Schnabel, Renate B.; Heidbuchel, Hein; Desteghe, Lien


Paulien Vermunicht

Mihaela Grecu

Jean-Claude Deharo

Claire M. Buckley

Elena Palà

Georges H. Mairesse

Michal M. Farkowski

Marco Bergonti

Helmut Pürerfellner

Ben Freedman

Henning Witt

Mellanie T. Hills

Jenny Lund

Katrina Giskes

Daniel Engler

Renate B. Schnabel

Hein Heidbuchel

Lien Desteghe


Background: There is no clear guidance on how to implement opportunistic atrial fibrillation (AF) screening in daily clinical practice. Objectives: This study evaluated the perception of general practitioners (GPs) about value and practicalities of implementing screening for AF, focusing on opportunistic single-time point screening with a single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) device. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with a survey developed to assess overall perception concerning AF screening, feasibility of opportunistic single-lead ECG screening and implementation requirements and barriers. Results: A total of 659 responses were collected (36.1% Eastern, 33.4% Western, 12.1% Southern, 10.0% Northern Europe, 8.3% United Kingdom & Ireland). The perceived need for standardized AF screening was rated as 82.7 on a scale from 0 to 100. The vast majority (88.0%) indicated no AF screening program is established in their region. Three out of four GPs (72.1%, lowest in Eastern and Southern Europe) were equipped with a 12-lead ECG, while a single-lead ECG was less common (10.8%, highest in United Kingdom & Ireland). Three in five GPs (59.3%) feel confident ruling out AF on a single-lead ECG strip. Assistance through more education (28.7%) and a tele-healthcare service offering advice on ambiguous tracings (25.2%) would be helpful. Preferred strategies to overcome barriers like insufficient (qualified) staff, included integrating AF screening with other healthcare programs (24.9%) and algorithms to identify patients most suitable for AF screening (24.3%). Conclusion: GPs perceive a strong need for a standardized AF screening approach. Additional resources may be required to have it widely adopted into clinical practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 25, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 15, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jan 31, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 15, 2023
Journal Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
Electronic ISSN 2297-055X
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Article Number 1112561
Keywords atrial fibrillation, screening, AFFECT-EU, survey, general practitioners


General practitioners’ perceptions on opportunistic 1 single-time point 2 screening for atrial fibrillation: a European quantitative survey (Supplemental Material) (972 Kb)

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