Clinical decision support for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (CDS-AF): Rationale and design of a cluster randomized trial in the primary care setting

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with substantial morbidity, in particular stroke. Despite good evidence for the reduction of stroke risk with anticoagulant therapy, there remains a significant undertreatment. The main aim of the current study is to investigate whether a clinical decision support tool for stroke prevention (CDS) integrated in the electronic health record can improve adherence to guidelines for stroke prevention in patients with AF.


We will conduct a cluster randomized trial where 43 primary care clinics in the county of Östergötland, Sweden (population 444,347), will be randomized to be part of the CDS intervention or serve as controls. The CDS will alert responsible physicians of patients with AF and increased risk for thromboembolism according to the CHA2DS2VASc (Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age ≥ 74 years, Diabetes mellitus, previous Stroke/TIA/thromboembolism, Vascular disease, Age 65-74 years, Sex category (i.e. female sex)) algorithm without anticoagulant therapy. The primary end point will be adherence to guidelines after 1 year.


The present study will investigate whether a clinical decision support system integrated in an electronic health record can increase adherence to guidelines regarding anticoagulant therapy in patients with AF.

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