Ways of experiencing the life situation among United States patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: a qualitative study

Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. Winter 2005;20(1):4-10. doi: 10.1111/j.0889-7204.2005.03797.x.


The purpose of this paper is to describe how a selected group of United States patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator perceived their life situation. A qualitative design based on the phenomenographic approach was chosen to describe the patients' conceptions of their life situation. Fourteen patients-eight men and six women, aged 21-84-were strategically selected to obtain as broad a variation as possible. The descriptive categories to emerge from the analysis of the interviews were trust, adaptability, and empowerment. The category labeled trust describes how patients trusted in the organization around them. The category labeled adaptability describes how patients adapted to living with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator device. The category entitled empowerment describes how patients considered that they received support from family and friends as well as from health care professionals. This study suggests the need for a holistic intervention program comprising family, work, and leisure, focusing on patients' future life situation.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Defibrillators, Implantable / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Social Support
  • United States