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Anxiety and marital adjustment in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator and their spouses

, : Anxiety and marital adjustment in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillator and their spouses. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention 27(1): 46-49

Device-related fears are a pervasive psychosocial difficulty that patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) experience. Spouses also encounter anxieties that may influence patient and spouse adjustment. This study examined anxiety and marital adjustment among ICD patients and spouses, as well as intersex differences between female and male patients. Patients and their spouses (N=62) completed separate individual assessment batteries regarding demographics, death anxiety, shock anxiety, general anxiety, and marital adjustment at a single time point during outpatient cardiology visits. Analyses revealed similar general anxiety and marital adjustment among participants, although spouses reported greater shock anxiety than did patients (P = .045). Female ICD patients reported more anxiety related to death and shock and received more shocks, despite equivalent indices of medical severity (P = .002). This study suggests that spouses of ICD patients experience higher levels of shock anxiety than do patients themselves and that female ICD patients experience higher levels of shock anxiety and death (anxiety than do male patients. Results suggest future research of device specific anxiety and clinical attention devoted to ICD patient spouses and female ICD patients.


PMID: 17474644

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