Patients’ experiences of living with implantable cardioverter defibrillators


Nilofar Pasyar 1 , * , Farkhondeh Sharif 1 , Mahnaz Rakhshan 1 , Mohammad hossein Nikoo 2 , Elham Navab 3

1 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Cardiovascular Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Pasyar N , Sharif F , Rakhshan M, Nikoo M H, Navab E. Patients’ experiences of living with implantable cardioverter defibrillators, Int Cardio Res J. 2017 ; 11(3):e10960.


International Cardiovascular Research Journal: 11 (3); e10960
Published Online: September 01, 2017
Article Type: Research Article
Received: August 21, 2017
Accepted: June 11, 2017


Background: Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) is an acceptable treatment
method in patients suffering from life-threatening ventricular dysrhythmias. In spite of
many advantages, ICD can lead to many challenges in living for these patients. Therefore,
understanding these experiences can lead to improvement of holistic care and treatment
of these patients.
Objectives: This study aimed to identify and describe the patients’ experiences of living
with ICD.
Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was conducted using interpretative
phenomenological approach. The participants who were selected through purposive
sampling included 4 women and 6 men (mean age: 43.1 ± 1.6 years). The data were
gathered through semi-structured interviews and field notes from November 2013
to December 2014. The data were also analyzed simultaneously using Van Manen’s
proposed stages.
Results: Analysis of the data resulted in emergence of 4 themes and 11 subthemes
representing the dimensions of the patients’ lived experiences with ICD. These
themes included “compromised self-identity”, “crossing the border of the unknown”,
“fluctuation in the adjustment path”, and “surrounded by changes”. Compromised
self-identity was manifested through “loss of prestige”, “changes in body image”,
and “being hurt by the battery label”. “Unpredictable situation”, “rise and fall”, and
“internal turmoil” were the main axes of crossing the border of the unknown. In
addition, fluctuation in the adjustment path included “wandering to cope with ICD”
and “institutionalization of ICD in life”. Considering the patients’ descriptions of
surrounded by changes, “family changes”, “social role changes”, and “change in
manifestation of routines” were of great importance.
Conclusions: This study allowed in-depth identification of aspects of living with ICD.
The results also promoted the ability of nurses to understand and interpret the views
of patients about living with ICD. In this way, the quality of patient care becomes more
favorable, resulting in improvement of the patients’ satisfaction. It can also provide a basis
to conduct further researches on different aspects of prevention, care, treatment, and
rehabilitation of these patients, leading to strengthening of the nursing research body.


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