Cardiac tachyarrhythmias are recurrent or chronic and in some cases life-threatening conditions. Heart rhythm disturbances are often highly symptomatic and the psychological impact of the disease can be significant. Patients' beliefs and knowledge about their health (and illness), medications, and healthcare they receive are important determinants of whether or not they accept recommended treatments; influence their coping responses to their illness and treatment; adherence to recommended therapy; and ultimately affects health outcomes. Incorporation of patients' values and preferences for therapy should now be considered as an integral part of the decision-making process and treatment strategy.
It is important to acknowledge and understand the impact of cardiac tachyarrhythmias on the patient. To address this issue, a Task Force was convened by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), and endorsed by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Asia-Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estimulación Cardíaca y Electrofisiología (SOLEACE), with the remit to comprehensively review the published evidence available, to publish a joint consensus document on patient values and preferences for the management of cardiac tachyarrhythmias, and to provide up-to-date consensus recommendations for use in clinical practice.
Hence this unique consensus document focuses on patients, summarizing the available literature on patients' experiences of living with various cardiac tachyarrhythmias and their treatment preferences, and identifies gaps in knowledge which will help to inform clinical practice and future research. The document will also summarize key points for discussions with patients during consultations regarding their condition, treatment options, disease trajectory, treatment goals, and outcomes. Finally, this document provides links to useful resources and patient advocacy groups and organizations and professional societies relevant to each group of cardiac tachyarrhythmias.