Abstract 17171: Educational and Support Needs of Women with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator: a Qualitative Study
Introduction: The implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) has reduced mortality from sudden cardiac death. It has been shown some recipients have difficulty adjusting to the device. However, women have been underrepresented in these studies. The purpose was to explore how women experience living with an ICD and their related needs for education and support.
Methods: A sample of 20 female ICD recipients living with their device for at least two months were enrolled in this qualitative descriptive study from cardiology outpatient clinics. The women completed a sociodemographic survey, and participated in in-depth, semi-structured interviews lasting 1-2 hours. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and augmented with field notes. Qualitative data were analyzed using content thematic analysis to reveal themes about living with an ICD, symptoms, and educational and support needs.
Results: The sample (70% Caucasian) ranged in age from 26 to 71 years (mean = 51.95 ± 13.3). Women had an ICD for a mean of 2.82 ± 3.84 years; 55% were divorced/single; 60% were employed; and 85% had some college or a degree. Most (80%) had not received an ICD shock; 55% had cardiomyopathy; and 45% had heart failure symptoms. Six qualitative themes emerged from the data about women’s experiences, educational, and support needs related to the device: 1) making decisions, 2) needing more specific information, 3) managing symptoms, 4) person versus device focus, 5) leading a normal life, and 6) what the future holds. Data revealed written ICD information had limited value and provider accessibility was beneficial.
Conclusions: The findings suggest women living with an ICD would benefit from educational and support interventions that consider a person versus device-focused approach in decision making about their treatment options and symptom management. Future studies testing interventions to improve adjustment are warranted.
Author Disclosures: A.P. Mauro: Research Grant; Modest; Muriel & Virginia Pless Center for Nursing Research Grant. V.V. Dickson: None. L. Baggese: None. T. Dolma: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.