The experiences and concerns of young adults (18-40 years) living with an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)

  • McDonough A
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Background: Although the implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a widely accepted life-saving technology, adjusting to life after ICD implantation may vary according to the recipient's age. Few studies have investigated how young adults manage life with an ICD and there are no studies describing their concerns or experiences of living with an ICD. Aim: The aim of the study was to describe the experiences and concerns of young adults (18-40 years) living with an ICD. Methods: Qualitative descriptive methodology was chosen incorporating interviews and written narrative responses to investigate twenty young adult's experiences of living with an ICD. Results: There were four descriptive categories: psychosocial, developmental, physical, and economical. Themes in the psychosocial category were: returning to normal, mood disturbances, and body image concerns. Themes in the developmental category were unique to young adults: childbearing and childrearing, while themes in the physical category were expectation regarding physical activity, and the economical category, the issue of financial security. Conclusions: These data reveal that young adults with ICDs experience the unique concerns of childbearing, childrearing, and are worried about their financial security. These findings provide insight for the development of age-appropriate interventions for young adults before and after ICD implantation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ICD
  • Implanted cardioverter defibrillator
  • Life-threatening arrhythmias
  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • Young adults

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  • Annette McDonough

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