Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important but expensive procedure that is the subject of some debate. Physicians' attitudes toward catheter ablation may influence promotion and patient acceptance. This is the first study to examine the attitudes of Danish cardiologists toward catheter ablation for AF, using a nationwide survey.
Methods and Results
We developed a purpose-designed questionnaire to evaluate attitudes toward catheter ablation for AF that was sent to all Danish cardiologists (n = 401; response n = 272 (67.8%)). There was no association between attitudes toward ablation and the experience or age of the cardiologist with respect to patients with recurrent AF episodes with a duration of 7 days and/or need for cardioversion. The majority (69%) expected a recurrence of AF after catheter ablation in more than 30% of the cases. For patients with persistent longstanding AF with a duration of >1 year, the attitude toward ablation for longstanding AF was more likely to be positive with increasing age (P <0.01) and years of experience of the cardiologist (P = 0.002).
Danish cardiologists generally have a positive attitude toward catheter ablation for AF, maintain up-to-date knowledge of the procedure, and are aware what information on ablation treatment should be given to patients with AF. The cardiologists had a positive attitude toward ablation for AF in patients with AF episodes 7 days, or those who needed medical/electrical conversion, but a more negative attitude toward treating longstanding AF patients.
- catheter ablation
- atrial fibrillation