INTRODUCTION: As indication for implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) has expanded, prophylactic implantations have increased. It has been well understood that some ICD recipients have psychological problems. Some of those problems are recognized as maladjustment syndromes. METHODS: We studied 35 ICD recipients regularly followed at outpatient department of Kyushu University Hospital in order to clarify the psychological distress and the quality of their daily lives (QOL). By using questionnaire instruments (SF-8, Beck Depression Inventory, Impact of Event Scale Revised, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), we studied their psychological status. RESULTS: Depression, anxiety, and post-stress syndromes existed in 45.5% of the ICD recipients and their QOL was compromised. Female ICD recipients reacted to the stress related to ICD implantation differently from male recipients. Elder ICD recipients had a different way of adjustment from the younger recipients. Various ICD related psychological problems were noted in terms of magnitude and diversity. CONCLUSION: To support ICD recipients both physically and mentally, not only the cardiologists but also specialists from other fields such as psychologists and nurse specialists are needed. Ancillary care must be provided through the support team. Cardiologists who determine whether ICD implantation is required must keep in mind potential psychological sequelae.
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