The aim of this descriptive, correlational, and cross-sectional survey was to explore uncertainty in patients with atrial fibrillation and to examine the relationships between uncertainty and its antecedents, including education, social support, and perceived seriousness of illness in patients newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. The theoretical framework of the study was Mishel's middle-range nursing theory of uncertainty in illness. A convenience sample of 81 participants recruited from two academic medical centers over 10 months was interviewed. Uncertainty was moderately high in patients with atrial fibrillation compared to other clinical populations. Among antecedents of uncertainty, higher education was significantly associated with less uncertainty (β = -.21 to -.25). Except for tangible support, persons with greater social supports perceived less uncertainty (β = -.25 to -.27), and individuals with greater perceived seriousness of illness reported greater uncertainty (β = .30 to .33).
- Atrial fibrillation
- Perceived seriousness of illness
- Social support