Dr. Al-Khatib made a great point in response to my opening remarks in which she reminded us that physician preference is just one of many factors that needs to be considered in relation to medical treatment options. Among others, she listed patient preference as an important factor in the decision making process. Dr. Gillinov and colleagues listed, as a part of the limitations of this study, that no quality of life measures were collected. This decision was made in part due to the short nature of the study and the fear that it might be difficult for the patient to separate out the effects of the medication vs. the effects of the normal post-operative course. Are quality of life measures something that should be further studied in relation to the treatment of post-operative atrial fibrillation? If so, what would be the best way to parse out how quality of life was affected by the surgery vs the medications? Would the study need to be a longer term study, or is it possible to ask about quality of life even in the short term?
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