Aims. To describe coping strategies and coping effectiveness in recipients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and to explore factors influencing coping.
Background. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are documented as saving lives and are used to treat ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Despite the implantable cardioverter defibrillator not evidently interfering with everyday life, there is conflicting evidence regarding the psychosocial impact of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation such as anxiety, depression, perceived control and quality of life and how these concerns may relate to coping.
Design. Cross-sectional multicentre design.
Methods. Individuals (n = 147, mean age 63 years, 121 men) who had lived with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator between 6–24 months completed the Jalowiec Coping Scale-60, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Control Attitude Scale and Quality of Life Index-Cardiac version.
Results. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators recipients seldom used coping strategies, and the coping strategies used were perceived as fairly helpful. Optimism was found to be the most frequently used (1·8 SD 0·68) and most effective (2·1 SD 0·48) coping strategy, and recipients perceived moderate control in life. Anxiety (β = 3·5, p ≤ 0·001) and gender (β = 12·3, p = 0·046) accounted for 26% of the variance in the total use of coping strategies, suggesting that the more symptoms of anxiety and being women the greater use of coping strategies.
Conclusions. Most recipients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator did not appraise daily concerns as stressors in need of coping and seem to have made a successful transition in getting on with their lives 6–24 months after implantation.
Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses working with recipients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator should have a supportive communication so that positive outcomes such as decreased anxiety and increased perceived control and quality of life can be obtained. Through screening for anxiety at follow-up in the outpatient clinic, these recipients perceiving mental strain in their daily life can be identified.
2012. Vol. 21, no 3-4, 311-321 p.
anxiety;arrhythmia;coping;depression;implantable cardioverter defibrillator;nurses;nursing;perceived control;quality of life