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Heart Lung. 2003 Jul-Aug;32(4):234-40.

Psychological therapies for recipients of implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

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  • 1Health Psychology Unit, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.


Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) are an increasingly common therapy for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias. Whereas most ICD recipients adjust well to living with the implant, a substantial minority suffer anxiety, depression, and anger that appears to be related to the ICD. A large number of studies have reported on the incidence of psychopathology and common psychosocial problems among patients with ICDs, however very few psychological interventions with this cohort have been reported. In an extensive literature search we identified only a handful of studies that described outcomes of psychological interventions, and most of these were in pilot form. Only one randomized controlled study with a homogenous sample of ICD patients has been reported to date. Given the unique situation of patients with ICDs and the particular vulnerability of those who experience frequent shocks, the evaluation of interventions that may improve psychological adjustment within this group would appear a worthwhile endeavor.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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