To assess the feasibility of administering Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) in patients treated with ablation for cardiac arrhythmias, and to conduct the first stage of development and testing of a new PROM tool.
Methods and results
A new tool was developed by a multidisciplinary team and tested alongside an adaptation of the patient perception of arrhythmia questionnaire (PPAQ) and EQ-5D-5L in a multicentre retrospective audit involving 791 consecutive cardiac arrhythmia patients treated with catheter ablation at three UK centres over 13 months. Data were recorded in the National Cardiac Rhythm Management Database, part of the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research. The response rate was 71.9% (n = 569). Patients reported significant improvements across all outcomes and impacts, with reductions in symptoms of 51.7% (heart racing), 33.9% (fatigue) 31.8% (heart flutters), 43.5% (dizziness), 38.6% (breathlessness), 44.2% (chest pressure), 33.1% (trouble concentrating), 15.9% (headache), 28.3% (neck pressure), and 23.4% (fainting) (P < 0.001). The mean number of social days affected reduced by 7.49 days/month (P < 0.001); mean work/school days affected/month reduced by 6.26 (P < 0.001); mean GP/hospital visits reduced by 1.36 days/month (P < 0.001). The procedure met patient expectations in 72% of responders.
The high response rate suggests that the use of PROMs in this patient group is feasible, with rates equalling those of the National PROMs Programme. The results showed that patients experienced significant improvements in their quality of life following ablation, while feedback allowed the tools to be improved. Further work is required to validate these tools; however, the findings suggest that PROMs could be useful in the audit of ablation techniques.