Journal Article

Psychological implications of ICD implantation in a New Zealand population

E.G. Newall, N.A. Lever, S. Prasad, C. Hornabrook and P.D. Larsen

in EP Europace

Published on behalf of European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

Volume 9, issue 1, pages 20-24
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1099-5129
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1532-2092 | DOI:
Psychological implications of ICD implantation in a New Zealand population

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Aims Previous studies have raised concerns about high levels of anxiety and depression in implanted cardioverter-defibrillator patients, and suggested that adverse psychological outcomes have been related to delivered therapy, age, and gender. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of anxiety and depression and to analyse quality-of-life in a New Zealand patient group.

Methods and results We questioned 46 ICD and 49 pacemaker patients regarding device and treatment satisfaction, depression, anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and quality-of-life (SF 36). The prevalence of clinical depression and anxiety in the ICD group was 7 and 13%, respectively, and did not differ from the pacemaker group. ICD patients mean anxiety and depression scores did not differ from the pacemaker group, although more ICD patients had subclinical levels of anxiety. Quality-of-life scores were normal for all ICD patients with respect to both mental and physical component scores, and not different from the pacemaker group. Anxiety, depression, and quality-of-life scores were unrelated to time from implantation, delivered therapy, age, or gender. Overall, 93% of the ICD patients thought their device was worthwhile.

Conclusion We found a lower than expected level of anxiety and depression in ICD patients, and suggest that this may be due in part to the small team approach adopted locally in the follow-up of this patient group.

Keywords: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators; Anxiety; Depression; Pacemakers; Quality-of-life

Journal Article.  3449 words. 

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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