Patient acceptance of implantable cardioverter defibrillator devices: changing attitudes

Am Heart J. 1994 Apr;127(4 Pt 2):1179-84. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(94)90107-4.


Clinical experience suggests that the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) can reduce sudden cardiac death and total mortality in patients with malignant ventricular arrhythmia who meet the selection criteria for implantation. In addition to surgical problems, patients are faced with psychological and social adjustments. Patient acceptance for such therapy is marked by perceived concerns regarding device discharge, life-style alterations, and complications. We included 57 patients with ICDs in a study of their acceptance of the device. Results of a specially designed questionnaire (state-trait personality inventory) showed that 47 of 57 patients felt that their symptoms improved with the ICD system, 32 were constantly aware of the device, and 24 patients acclimated to the ICD system within less than 2 months. With respect to the need for battery replacement, only 27 patients requested a repeat electrophysiologic evaluation, 20 patients stated fear of ICD discharges, 12 patients revealed physical discomfort from the device, and limited quality of life occurred in eight 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 have an ICD implantation if necessary. In conclusion, in general, the acceptance of the ICD as a tool for management of life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias is very high. Quality of life and patient acceptance are important criteria for successful ICD therapy in addition to the improved survival rate.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / psychology*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / psychology*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy