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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-35

Decision-making experiences and decisional regret in patients receiving implanted cardioverter-defibrillators

Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Randall Scott Stafford
Stanford Prevention Research Center, 1265 Welch Rd., 3rd Floor, Stanford, CA 94305-5411
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/hm.hm_51_21

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Background: Patient education before the placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is strongly recommended to prevent or mitigate feelings of regret and frustration in ICD recipients. Medicare guidelines for ICDs require a shared decision-making approach that focuses on patients' health goals, values, and preferences before implantation. However, many patients are not fully informed of what to expect when recovering from ICD placement or living with an ICD long-term. Objectives: Our objective is to understand decision-making processes and decisional regret in patients requiring ICDs using in-depth interviews. Methods: Nineteen patients at Stanford University Medical Center were recruited to participate in individual interviews using closed-ended and open-ended questions to engage dialogue. Notes taken during interviews were assessed and used to identify major themes. Results: Participants described a lack of adequate education about ICD postoperative recovery and long-term, postimplantation considerations such as avoiding electromagnetic fields, false-positive ICD shocks, and the esthetic effect of ICD implantation. In addition, feelings of fear and anxiety were prevalent in participants' recollections of accepting an ICD. Conclusion: Further improvement in patient education before ICD placement is needed. The decision-making process can be simplified and patient regret and frustration minimized by providing reliable information that is accessible and interactive.

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