Anna, Tiny, Naoko and Ingela just came back from their presentations at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association. This yearly event is always an inspiring happening for us, since we meet a lot of international colleagues that are also active in research. The presentations and discussions in the sessions are at a high level and the program was varied and interesting. I (Tiny) went for example to sessions on alarms at the CCU, heart failure in the life cycle, self-care and heart failure and gender issues. From our group we had 4 oral invited presentations (Anna and Tiny) and 2 posters (Naoko and Ingela).
The objectives were to (1) describe ICD-related concerns, and (2) examine whether the relationships between receipt of defibrillating shocks and psychological distress were mediated by patients’ concerns related to their ICD.
Methods and Results All Swedish ICD-recipients were invited to this cross-sectional correlational study; 3,067 completing the survey (55% response). Their mean age was 66+11 years, and 80% were male. One third (35%) had received defibrillating shocks, and 26% had high ICD-related concerns. Regression analyses demonstrated that having received at least one shock significantly predicted symptoms of anxiety and depression (OR 1.58 and OR 3.04, respectively). The association between receipt of shocks and psychologically distress were mediated by high ICD-related concerns which explained 68% of the relationship between shocks and symptoms of anxiety, and 54% of the relationship between shocks and symptoms of depression.
Conclusion Having high ICD-related concerns has a bigger impact on psychological distress than receipt of an actual shock. Screening for ICD-related concerns in clinical practice may identify patients at risk of psychological distress, which could provide a specific target for intervention.