Besides surgical problems, recipients of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are faced with psychological and social adjustments. Successful ICD therapy is influenced by the patients' perceived concerns regarding device, discharge, changes in life style, and complications. In order to assess patients' acceptance of the ICD, the psychological profile of 57 consecutive patients was evaluated using a specifically designed questionnaire and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The results showed that 20 patients stated fear of ICD discharge, 12 patients revealed physical discomfort due to the device, and limited quality-of-life occurred in 8 patients. Fifty-five of 57 patients answered that it was worth having an ICD device implanted, 30 (53%) patients returned to active life, and 56 (98%) would advise another patient to undergo implantation if necessary. Overall, there was only a slight, but insignificant, decrease in the level of anxiety within the total patient population after ICD implantation. However, a comparison of two subgroups indicated that the state of anxiety was significantly higher in patients < 50 years of age as well as in patients having received > 5 shocks versus those > 50 years of age and having experienced < 5 shocks. In general, the acceptance of the ICD as a tool in managing life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias is high. Besides the increased survival rate, quality-of-life and patient acceptance are important criteria for successful ICD therapy.