Barriers to the use of anticoagulation for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation: A representative survey of Australian family physicians

Melina Gattellari*, John Worthington, Nicholas Zwar, Sandy Middleton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Anticoagulation reduces the risk of stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation yet remains underused. We explored barriers to the use of anticoagulants among Australian family physicians. METHODS - The authors conducted a representative, national survey. RESULTS - Of the 596 (64.4%) eligible family physicians who participated, 15.8% reported having a patient with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation experience an intracranial hemorrhage with anticoagulation and 45.8% had a patient with known nonvalvular atrial fibrillation experience a stroke without anticoagulation. When presented with a patient at "very high risk" of stroke, only 45.6% of family physicians selected warfarin in the presence of a minor falls risk and 17.1% would anticoagulate if the patient had a treated peptic ulcer. Family physicians with less decisional conflict and longer-standing practices were more likely to endorse anticoagulation. CONCLUSION - Strategies to optimize the management of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation should address psychological barriers to using anticoagulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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