Pi Phi Chapter

Oral Anticoagulation Therapy and Frequency of Testing

Nursing Research on the Green

2012 Abstract

Kathryn J. Smrz, BSN, RN, MSN Student
Viterbo University School of Nursing

  • Background: The frequency of international normalized ratio testing was examined in this review of literature. Until recently, persons who require oral anticoagulation had to travel to a physician’s office or laboratory a minimum of once per month to have a venipuncture international normalized ratio. Through advancements, persons requiring oral anticoagulation now have the option to perform point of care self-testing and self-monitoring of oral anticoagulation therapy with a home monitor. This review will focus on the relationship between the frequencies of therapeutic international normalized ratio’s comparing patients who test at different intervals.
  • Significance: A common overwhelming theme throughout the analysis of these data is the positive correlation between education and outcomes. Proper education in the outpatient setting can allow the patient to be empowered. This sense of empowerment ultimately improves the self-awareness of an individual’s health care when persons are permitted to make independent clinical decisions.
  • Purpose/objective: The purpose of this review was to examine the available literature regarding INR monitoring of patients who receive oral anticoagulation therapy to determine if more frequent self-testing results in increased time in therapeutic range.
  • Methods: A literature review sought to determine if more frequent testing of the international normalized ratio resulted in greater time in therapeutic range.
  • Results: Sixteen studies were selected for inclusion regarding the frequency of international normalized ratio testing in comparison with the amount of time the international normalized ratio remained within therapeutic range. Of the 16 studies analyzed, only 5 identified that more frequent testing of the international normalized ratio resulted in a greater percentage of time in therapeutic range.
  • Clinical Implications: A finding in this review suggests the longer an international normalized ratio remains within therapeutic range can be directly related to the amount of education recipients of oral anticoagulation receive.

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