PIAAF – Pharmacy

Taking AF Screening to the Community.

Study Progression Status Number of Sites Number of Patients Enrolled
Enrollment Complete 30 1145

Program for the Identification of “Actionable” Atrial Fibrillation (PIAAF): In the Pharmacy Setting

Atrial fibrillation (AF) will cause an estimated 15,000 new strokes in Canada per year. AF related stroke is often more severe and treatment results in considerable costs to the Canadian healthcare system. In patients with AF, two key populations exist – those that have AF but do not know that they have it and those that know that they have AF, but are not receiving adequate oral anticoagulant (OAC) therapy. The public health consequences of undiagnosed and/or untreated AF (“actionable AF”) are enormous, and screening programs are widely considered to be part of the solution.

To help meet the C-SPIN Network’s aim to reduce stroke by 10%, and the advent of new technology that makes screening for AF easier, the PIAAF group is shifting AF screening to places where it hasn’t been done before, such as pharmacies. To make the PIAAF sustainable, the study will also provide an overall cardiovascular health risk assessment to participants. Along with screening for AF, participants will also be screened for hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes. Patients with these two chronic diseases can be predisposed to developing AF.

Studies have shown that a person will visit a pharmacy five-times more often than any other healthcare provider. Pharmacists are the third largest group of health professionals in Canada. They are highly accessible, often the first point of entry in the healthcare system and an essential link between patients and other healthcare providers.

Value towards Network Vision

The primary aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of “actionable” AF in the community, along with providing a screening for hypertension and diabetes, through a pharmacy-led screening initiative. A better understanding of stroke prevention through early detection and treatment of AF will help to inform guidelines, change practice and reduce health costs.

For people interested in participating in the screening program, more information can be found here


Jeff Healey, M.D.  Population Health Research Institute
Roopinder Sandhu, M.D. University of Alberta
Lisa Dolovich, M.D. McMaster University and St.Joseph’s Healthcare

Countries Participating

  • Canada