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Heart Lung. 2005 Sep-Oct;34(5):299-308.

Sexual concerns and educational needs after an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

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1
Wichita State University, School of Nursing, Wichita, Kansas 67260, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) describe anxiety, fears, and other psychosocial issues, although sexual concerns are not well understood.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this descriptive study was to explore the experiences of patients and partners with return to sexual activity post-ICD implantation.

PARTICIPANTS:

Subjects were 12 patients with an ICD (10 men, 2 women) and 4 partners (1 man, 3 women). Most patients with an ICD and partners were age 55 years or older, with a mean age of 62 years for patients and 47 years for partners.

METHODS:

A semistructured interview was used to explore the meaning and influence of the ICD on the sexual relationship. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a qualitative descriptive approach.

RESULTS:

Themes identified were (1) anxiety and apprehension, with subthemes of partner overprotectiveness and fear of ICD discharge with sexual activity; (2) varying interest and pattern of sexual activity; (3) powerfulness of ICD discharge; and (4) a need for information and sexual counseling.

IMPLICATIONS:

Additional research is needed to further understand the experience of ICD discharge with sexual activity and to develop educational strategies.

PMID:
16157184
DOI:
10.1016/j.hrtlng.2005.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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