Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Education, psychological support key for defibrillator patients

Date:
September 24, 2012
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Because depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are common among people with implanted cardioverter defibrillators, doctors and nurses should provide gender- and age-specific information on the potential psychological impact. Each month, 10,000 people, including children, have a defibrillator implanted to restore normal heart rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death.

Because depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are common among people with implanted cardioverter defibrillators, doctors and nurses should provide gender- and age-specific information on the potential psychological impact. Each month, 10,000 people, including children, have a defibrillator implanted to restore normal heart rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death.

Improved patient education and ongoing psychological support will help people cope with the psychological distress of having an implanted defibrillator, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.

The statement, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, is a comprehensive review of the psychosocial and quality of life for people who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to restore normal heart rhythm and prevent sudden cardiac death. It includes recommendations for improved patient care and identifies areas where more research is needed.

The authors recommend routine screening and appropriate treatment for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, which patients with ICDs often experience.

"A shock from an ICD can be lifesaving, but it can also affect a person's quality of life and psychological state," said Sandra B. Dunbar, R.N., D.S.N., chair of the statement writing group. "It's important to look at this issue now because 10,000 people have an ICD implanted each month. They range from older people with severe heart failure to healthy children who have a gene that increases the risk of sudden cardiac arrest."

Before implantation, clinicians should provide clear information about the benefits and limitations of the ICD, prognosis and impact on lifestyle including activity and occupation.

"Education and support need to include the patient and the family and be broader than just a focus on maintaining the device. Providers need to help patients address ICD-specific concerns about symptoms, heart disease treatment, physical activities and end-of-life issues," said Dunbar, who is also the Charles Howard Candler Professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in Atlanta.

Among the statement's recommendations to improve psychological outcomes, physicians and nurses should:

  • Emphasize that the ICD protects against sudden death, but does not improve your underlying heart condition unless the device does other things, such as certain types of pacing.
  • Assess the patient's concerns and psychological status at each follow-up visit.
  • Develop a clear "shock plan" so patients and family members know what to do in the event of a shock.
  • Help patients and their families deal with stressful situations that may develop with an ICD.
  • Provide gender-specific, age-appropriate information for children and their families.

Although pediatric ICD recipients make up less than 1 percent of the ICD population, complications are more frequent and these patients will live with the defibrillators for a much longer period of time, according to the statement.

"Experiencing a shock is distressing and patients have a wide variety of responses," Dunbar said. "Some find it very reassuring that it's working, while others find the actual physical sensations frightening and overwhelming. That's why we suggest that clinicians provide an ongoing assessment of ICD patients' psychological needs."

The statement identified several areas for further research, including predicting which patients are likely to experience psychological distress and how to alleviate it; the level of sports participation and physical activity appropriate for children and teens with ICDs; and when and how to discuss potential ICD deactivation near the end of life.

Co-writers include Cynthia Dougherty, R.N., Ph.D.; Samuel Sears, Ph.D.; Diane L. Carroll, R.N., Ph.D.; Nathan Goldstein, M.D.; Daniel Mark, M.D.; George McDaniel, M.D.; Susan J. Pressler, R.N., Ph.D.; Eleanor Schron, R.N., Ph.D.; Paul Wang, M.D. and Vicki Zeigler, R.N., Ph.D.


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. "Education, psychological support key for defibrillator patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924175036.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2012, September 24). Education, psychological support key for defibrillator patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924175036.htm
American Heart Association. "Education, psychological support key for defibrillator patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924175036.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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