Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart implant patients' fears about shock can lead to sexual dysfunction, research finds

Date:
December 1, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Adults with congenital heart disease and implanted cardioverter defibrillators often have a high level of fear and anxiety about the device delivering a shock during sex -- resulting in sexual performance problems, according to new research.

Adults with congenital heart disease and implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) often have a high level of fear and anxiety about the device delivering a shock during sex -- resulting in sexual performance problems, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.

Related Articles


An ICD is an implanted, battery-powered device that monitors the heartbeat. If the ICD detects a dangerous irregular heartbeat, it delivers a shock to restore normal rhythm. The shock can be painful and some patients say it feels like a kick in the chest.

Among the 151 study participants, 41 had an ICD. The average age was 37 for those with an ICD and 32 for those without. Women comprised 41 percent of those with an ICD and 49 percent of those without the device.

In the survey, participants rated their sexual function, level of depression and, for those with ICDs, their level of fear and anxiety about experiencing an ICD shock.

The men's sexual function survey included questions about confidence, satisfaction and the ability to maintain an erection during sex. The women's questionnaire rated interest, arousal, satisfaction and pain during sex.

Overall, men with ICDs scored an average sexual function score of 19, which is consistent with mild erectile dysfunction, while scores of men without ICDs demonstrated normal sexual function. Women with and without ICDs had similar sexual function scores -- 65 and 67, respectively. However, men and women with ICDs who had a high level of fear about getting shocked -- called shock-related anxiety -- had lower sexual function scores.

Depression scores were the same for those with and without an ICD and were in normal range.

The results of this study suggest that patients and doctors should talk about these concerns to help patients cope with the increased anxiety surrounding the ICD and refer them for appropriate counseling when indicated, said Stephen C. Cook, M.D., lead researcher of the Shock-ICD study and director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

"Communication among healthcare providers and patients is essential," Cook said. "Patients require counseling both before and after device placement particularly if they continue to report high levels of nervous feelings. "

Co-authors are Paul Khairy, M.D.; Doug Landsittel, Ph.D.; Mary Amanda Dew, Ph.D.; Curt J. Daniels, M.D.; Jenne Hickey, N.P; Jennifer Burger, Psy.D.; Amy Harmon, B.A.; Mathieu Clair, M.D.; Frank Cecchin, M.D.; Gregory R. Webster, M.D. and Anne Marie Valente, M.D.

Significant others of ICD patients face physical, mental challenges

In an unrelated study, significant others' physical health worsened while their mental health improved after one year of caring for someone with an ICD.

None of the patients had congenital heart disease.

Average age of the significant others was 60, 97 percent were Caucasian and 84 percent were female.

For the 127 significant others who participated in the analysis, the most difficult time -- physically and mentally -- was the first three months after the ICD implantation.

The psychological demands and adjustment were most challenging for the caregivers immediately after the patients left the hospital, researchers said.

Early symptoms among caregivers included high anxiety, depression and increased physical symptoms, said Cynthia M. Dougherty, R.N., Ph.D., the study's lead researcher and professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing in Seattle. Researchers recommend interventions to help caregivers during the first three months.

Elaine A. Thompson, R.N., Ph.D. is co-author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Heart implant patients' fears about shock can lead to sexual dysfunction, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111114111809.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, December 1). Heart implant patients' fears about shock can lead to sexual dysfunction, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111114111809.htm
American Heart Association. "Heart implant patients' fears about shock can lead to sexual dysfunction, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111114111809.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins