Background: Previous studies indicate that the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) has a large impact on the quality of life of patients. The effects of having an ICD over longer periods of times has been less studied.
Objective: To assess the quality of life and well-being of cardiac arrest survivors who have received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or other treatment.
Methods: 168 patients were monitored for 1 year and completed four questionnaires.
Results: No differences were found between the two treatments regarding quality of life (except for pain, ICD patients perceived less pain) and well-being. A significant improvement in physical and social function, and in mental health was found in the first 6 months. Older patients (60 years or older) perceived less improvement in their health than younger patients. Women reported having poorer social function. The prevalence of anxiety and probable depression was high irrespective of the treatment received: anxiety and depressive symptoms did not change significantly between 1 and 12 months after discharge. Patients with higher anxiety scores experienced less improvement in health and patients with more depressive symptoms experienced poorer social function.
Conclusions: The prevalence of anxiety and probable depression was high in cardiac arrest survivors. Probable depression affected social function. Those patients who felt anxious experienced less health improvement. Quality of life and well-being were not affected by the type of treatment. We conclude that surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has a greater impact on patients than the treatment received.