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Author Notes:

Email: newmand@smh.toronto.on.ca


Research Funding:

Supported in part by grants from Medtronic, Minneapolis, Minn.

Effect of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator with atrial detection and shock therapies on patient-perceived, health-related quality of life


Journal Title:

American Heart Journal


Volume 145, Number 5


, Pages 841-846

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


BACKGROUND: This study used a device (DDD implantable cardioverter defibrillator [ICD]) capable of delivering pacing and shock therapies to restore normal sinus rhythm in patients with atrial tachycardias or atrial fibrillation (AF). The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of the device on patient-perceived, health-related quality of life (QOL). METHODS: The DDD ICD was implanted in 267 patients with drug refractory, symptomatic AF from 45 centers across Europe, the United States, and Canada. Patients completed self-reported, validated QOL assessments at baseline and at 3- and 6-month follow-up visits (The Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 [SF-36] and the Symptom Checklist [SCL]). RESULTS: The mean age of the study group was 62 +/- 12 years, and 73% of the patients were male. A total of 150 patients completed SF-36 assessments, and 138 patients completed SCL assessments at all 3 times. Baseline scores were more impaired (P <.05) on most SF-36 scales compared with norms for a general population, but were similar to a comparison group of patients with AF who were referred to tertiary care centers. The role-physical, physical functioning, vitality, mental health, and social functioning scales all improved significantly with time (all P <.04). Similarly, symptom frequency and severity (SCL) also improved significantly from baseline to 6 months (both P <.01). Shock therapy was delivered in 86 of the 150 patients (57%) with complete SF-36 evaluations. There was no evidence that receiving shocks decreased the relative improvement in QOL associated with implantation of the device. CONCLUSIONS: In a 6-month period, QOL improves after implantation of a DDD ICD with atrial shock and pacing therapies. These improvements were not attenuated by receipt of shocks.

Copyright information:

© 2003 Mosby, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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