“Part of the Ritual”: Exploring Patient and Physician Decision Making Regarding Anticoagulation Use in Obstetric Antiphospholipid SyndromeThrombosis and Haemostasis (2021)
Background: Antiphospholipid syndrome is associated with recurrent pregnancy loss. Low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and/or aspirin (ASA) prophylaxis during pregnancy to prevent future loss is based on limited trial data with mixed results. Objectives: Given the clinical equipoise, we sought to understand how patients and physicians navigate the decision-making process for use of LMWH and/or ASA in pregnancy. Methods: We interviewed 10 patients and 10 thrombosis physicians in Ottawa, Canada from January 2017-March 2018. Patients who met the revised Sapporo/Sydney laboratory criteria with 1 late pregnancy loss or 2 early losses were identified in a Thrombosis Clinic or excluded patients from the TIPPS Study screening logs. Data collection and analysis occurred iteratively, in keeping with constructivist grounded theory methodology. Results: Our analysis generated three themes, present across both patient and physician interviews, which captured a patient-led decision-making experience: (1) Managing High Stakes, (2) Accepting Uncertainty, and (3) Focusing on Safety. Patients and physicians acknowledged the high emotional burden and what was at stake: avoiding further pregnancy loss. Patients responded to their situation by taking action (i.e. using LMWH injections became a "ritual"), whereas physicians reacted by removing themselves from the final decision by "[leaving] it up to the patient". Conclusions: Our findings should be considered when designing future research on studying the role for LMWH/ASA in this population, as it suggests that the perceived benefits of treatment go beyond improving pregnancy rates. Rather, patients described potential benefit from the process of taking action, even in the absence of a guaranteed good outcome.
Citation InformationLeslie Skieth, Marc Alan Rodger, Shannon Bates, Carol Gonsalves, et al.. "“Part of the Ritual”: Exploring Patient and Physician Decision Making Regarding Anticoagulation Use in Obstetric Antiphospholipid Syndrome" Thrombosis and Haemostasis (2021)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/taryn-taylor/1/