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Psychosocial Impact of the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator: Nursing Implications

White, Megan M. BSN, RN

The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: April 2002 - Volume 16 - Issue 3 - p 53-61
Advances in Cardiovascular Technology

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) remains a significant problem despite an overall reduction in other cardiac related deaths in recent years. Research supports the use of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) as an effective means of treating dangerous ventricular tachydysrhythmias to prevent SCD. The issue that demands increasing attention is the psychologic experience of ICD recipients. Although the ICD is clearly a technological success, there is evidence that recipients experience strong physical and emotional reactions to the device. Such quality of life issues are worthy of a multidisciplinary effort directed at facilitating patient acceptance and adaptation to technology that although potentially life-saving, may also be unpredictable and anxiety provoking.

Nurse; Lutheran General Hospital; Park Ridge, Illinois

The author thanks Kathleen McCauley, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, for her support and contribution to the development of this article.

Copyright © 2002 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.