Quality of Life in Atrial Fibrillation: Measurement Tools and Impact of Interventions


  • Dr. Reynolds is supported by grant K23-HL077171 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

  • Manuscript received 15 November 2007; Revised manuscript received 27 November 2007; Accepted for publication 30 November 2007.

  • Editor: Stephen C. Hammill, M.D.

Address for correspondence: Matthew R. Reynolds, M.D., M.Sc., Division of Cardiology, Baker 4, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 185 Pilgrim Rd., Boston, MA 02215. Fax: 617-632-1580; E-mail: mreynold@bidmc.harvard.edu


Quality of life (QoL) is of central importance in atrial fibrillation as both a treatment goal and an endpoint in the evaluation of new therapies. QoL appears to be impaired in the majority of patients with AF. A number of interventions for AF have been shown to improve QoL, including pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic rate control, antiarrhythmic drugs, and nonpharmacologic rhythm control strategies. This paper will review the rationale, design, strengths, and limitations of the questionnaires most commonly used to assess QoL in AF studies, and present QoL outcomes from major studies of AF interventions.