Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, and 50,000 Danes are living with this disease. Studies show reduced quality of life, including an increased tendency to anxiety in the patient group. However, there are no studies dealing with anxiety in patients with atrial fibrillation on an existential level. The aim of this study is to elucidate the existential reflections patients do in the course of their disease. It is based on three qualitative interviews. The theoretical frame is Yalom’s basic existential concerns and Eriksson’s suffering theory.

The findings show that patients in different ways are anxious and have existential concerns. Three recurring themes are found: death, loneliness and meaninglessness. Some patients find that the surroundings do not consider atrial fibrillation as a serious illness. Some have experienced that the staff is overlooking their individual needs during hospitalisation. Instead they are alone with their thoughts and anxiety.