Background: Living with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) has positive health benefits but the impact on well-being and quality of life over a period of time has not been studied in depth.
Aim: To follow patients prospectively over the first year and to compare the changes from time of ICD implantation, to 6 months and 1 year.
Methods: Generalized linear models were used to assess changes through examination of health status (SF-36), psychological distress (POMS), and quality of life (QLI) scores.
Results: There were 19 females (27%) and 51 males (73%) in the sample with a mean age of 64 years. There were significant improvements over time in 3 of the 8 sub-concepts of health status: role physical (P<0.001), vitality (P<0.013) and social functioning (P<0.001). The Profile of Mood States revealed significantly less total psychological distress at 6 months with a non-significant leveling off or increase at 1 year. The quality of life index revealed no significant changes over time.
Conclusions: The effects of living with an ICD are not well understood. Research should continue to identify the impact over time in this population and sub-groups so that health care providers can address the social and psychological needs of this population.