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The impact of defibrillator discharges on psychological functioning of implantable cardioverter defibrillator recipients

  • Varda Konstam
  • Carol Colburn
  • Laurie Butts
  • N. A. Mark EstesIII
Article

Abstract

A lag exists with respect to our understanding of the psychological demands and rehabilitation needs of individuals who have undergone implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation. The ICD is designed to transmit an electric shock to the heart to treat a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia. This study specifically examined the impact of defibrillator discharges on the psychological functioning of ICD recipients. A questionnaire was self-administered to 33 individuals who have been living with the ICD for at least 6 months. Results revealed that levels of anger and depression were significantly higher in those subjects who reported a lower discharge rate, while sense of well-being was significantly higher in those subjects who reported a greater discharge rate. Possible explanations for our findings were proposed as well as implications for clinical intervention were discussed.

Key words

psychosocial adaptation implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) recipients discharges 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Varda Konstam
    • 1
  • Carol Colburn
    • 1
  • Laurie Butts
    • 1
  • N. A. Mark EstesIII
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts at Boston and Tufts-New England Medical CenterBoston

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