Professor Lisa Dolovich Publishes Paper in CMAJ OPEN

Professor Lisa Dolovich and a team of researchers published a paper in CMAJ OPEN looking at screening for atrial fibrillation in Canadian pharmacies.

Screening for undiagnosed atrial fibrillation may lead to treatment with oral anticoagulation therapy, which can decrease the risk of ischemic stroke. The objective of this study was to conduct an economic evaluation of the Program for the Identification of 'Actionable' Atrial Fibrillation in the Pharmacy Setting (PIAAF-Pharmacy), which screened 1145 participants aged 65 years or more at 30 community pharmacies in Ontario and Alberta between October 2014 and April 2015.

Through this study, Dr. Dolovich and team determined that screening for atrial fibrillation in pharmacies was associated with higher costs ($26) and better quality of life for longer. Their analyses confirmed that screening for atrial fibrillation in a pharmacy setting was a cost-effective strategy.

The results support screening for atrial fibrillation in Canadian pharmacies. Given this finding, efforts should be made by provincial governments and pharmacies to implement such programs across Canada. The addition of atrial fibrillation screening alongside screening and management of other cardiovascular conditions may help to reduce the burden of stroke.