AIMS: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is increasing rapidly with the growing utilization of catheter ablation (CA) as a treatment strategy. Education for individuals undertaking this procedure is diverse, with varying degrees of information provided and little standardization. Many individuals utilize the internet as an educational resource. However, there is limited regulation of online patient information. To evaluate the quality of web-based patient education resources for patients undergoing CA for AF. METHODS AND RESULTS: A cross-sectional observational study was performed to obtain all freely accessible online educational resources about CA for AF from inception until 1 October 2019. Search engines used: Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) was used to evaluate the quality of web-based patient education materials and printable tools. The PEMAT score objectively measures both the understandability and actionability of educational material. A total of 17 websites and 15 printable sources were included in the analysis. Non-government organizations developed 19% of materials and 75% were created by private or university hospitals. Nineteen sources (59.4%) were rated as highly understandable: 9 websites (52.9%) and 10 printable tools (66.7%). Seven sources (21.9%) were rated as highly actionable: 6 (35.3%) websites and 1 (6.7%) printable tool. CONCLUSION: The overall understandability of educational CA material was high, whilst improvement of actionability is warranted. The addition of summaries, visual aids, and tools, such as checklists may improve quality. These findings have significant implications for the development of patient educational material for CA in AF.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Catheter ablation
- Patient educational resources
- Web-based information