Predictors of coping and recovery following Internal Cardiovertor Defibrillator (ICD) implantation

Approximately 100,000 people experience Sudden Cardiac Death in the UK. Following cardiac arrest, survival rates remain are poor and 15% of survivors of cardiac arrest are likely to experience a further event within 12 months.  The development of implantable devices such as Internal Cardiovertor Defibrillator (ICD) have been life saving and clinical indication and national guidance for the use of these devices has led to increasing number of implants worldwide. 

It is recognised however that for some ICD patients there may be severe adverse effects associated with ICD implantation in terms of anxiety, depression and poor quality of life.  Recipients can be left with a significant burden of physical and psychological problems, which impact on their daily living and their immediate families.

At present we have limited understanding of how big this burden of adverse effects is in this population, whether we can predict who will do well, or badly, after ICD implantation nor how we can best support their psychological needs and recovery. It is possible that illness representation as well as other factors may influence their repose to this device and it is possible that existing models of illness representation could be used as a theoretical framework to help us understand the relationship between patient and caregiver recovery after device implantation, this allowing us to develop and evaluate supportive interventions for this client in the future.  

Dr Karen Smith