Indexed on: 20 Jan '07Published on: 20 Jan '07Published in: Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are effective at reducing mortality in patients at high risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) but can cause psychological distress and reduce quality of life (QOL). The full benefits of ICDs can only be achieved when the patient's QOL and psychological status are maintained. We examined psychological status and QOL post ICD implantation; the relationship of psychological status to QOL; the relationship of time since implantation to psychological status and QOL; and the relationship of time since ICD implantation and age of patient to these variables.A cross-sectional self-administered assessment of QOL, depression, anxiety, demographic characteristics and cardiovascular health history of patients (n = 48) who had received ICDs within the past 10 years at an urban hospital. Patients who had ICDs for longer experienced worse depression and QOL. Patients who were younger had worse depression, anxiety, and QOL. The combination of anxiety, depression, age, and time since ICD implant significantly predicted overall QOL and the psychosocial and physical dimensions of QOL explaining 55.5, 54, and 34.9% of the variance, respectively.Younger ICD patients are at highest risk for psychological distress and poor QOL. Longitudinal research would facilitate determination of the trajectory of changes in psychological status and QOL over the duration of the ICD experience.