The impact of the automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator on quality of life

D. K. Cooper, R. M. Luceri, R. J. Thurer, R. J. Myerburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


In survivors of out of hospital cardiac arrest, the psychosocial effects of implantation of an automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator remain largely unexplored. In a group of 17 patients, consisting of 11 males, 6 females, mean age 61 (range 24-73), the impact of the automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator on lifestyle changes was examined by activity and psychosocial data surveys during a mean follow-up of 16 months (range 2-21). Preimplant, 10/17 patients were retired, 7/17 were employed. Social, psychological and physical activity data revealed the following: (1) shocks occurred in 13/17 patients (76%) for suspected arrhythmia and resulted in significant fear in 11/13 (85%). In 7/13 (54%), symptoms were relieved by the shock; (2) sexual abstinence was reported by 7/17 patients (41%); (3) fear of premature battery failure was noted in 8/17 patients (44%); (4) limitations from heart disease or fear of shock reduced physical activity in 11/17 patients (65%); and (5) social interactions declined in 7/17 patients (41%) while 6/17 (35%) reported no change. We conclude that automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation is associated with multiple physical, social, and psychological alterations. These findings strongly support intensive medical, nursing, and psychological counseling both pre and postimplant in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-309
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Progress in Electrophysiology and Pacing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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