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Am J Crit Care. 2006 Jul;15(4):389-98.

Quality of life and psychological status of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

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1
School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators reduce mortality in patients at high risk for sudden cardiac death and in patients with heart failure. Patients with defibrillators often experience psychological distress and poor quality of life, which can potentiate pathological processes that increase the risk for sudden cardiac death. To achieve the full benefits of the defibrillators, patients must maintain their psychological status and quality of life.

OBJECTIVES:

To review the research on psychological status and quality of life of patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators and suggest nursing interventions to improve the patients' health.

METHOD:

Searches of PubMed were used to find articles on depression, anxiety, and quality of life in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

RESULTS:

Poor quality of life is associated with anxiety and depression in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Discharges of the devices have adverse consequences for patients' psychological status and quality of life. Younger patients are at highest risk for psychological distress and poor quality of life after implantation. Longitudinal research would facilitate determining the course of the changes in psychological status and quality of life during the time patients have the defibrillators. More intensive intervention may be necessary for the most vulnerable recipients: patients who are young, have experienced shocks, and are in psychological distress.

CONCLUSIONS:

Poor quality of life and depression are common in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Nursing interventions to reduce psychological distress and improve quality of life may reduce morbidity and mortality in these patients. Additional research is needed to determine effective interventions.

PMID:
16823016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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