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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2009 Nov;20(11):1297-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2009.01526.x. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Effective management of ICD patient psychosocial issues and patient critical events.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27585, USA.


The clinical management of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) patients involves successful medical and psychosocial care to reduce mortality and morbidity. Desirable quality of life (QoL) and psychosocial outcomes for ICD patients are achievable for a majority of ICD patients. Patient critical events, such as ICD shocks or ICD recalls, may occur that can dramatically alter the course of patient adjustment if not properly managed. Continuing care strategies that attend to patient critical events as they emerge may improve the psychosocial adjustment and improve the return to optimal daily functioning for ICD patients. This paper reviews QoL and psychosocial outcomes for ICD patients, patient critical events, and clinical implications for patient care. Patient critical events discussed in this paper include perioperative education, ICD shock events, device recalls, and end of life. The clinical management strategies for each of these patient critical events are suggested including patient education, psychosocial information provision, activity prescriptions, recall planning, and shock planning.

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