Predictors of Psychosocial Adjustment in Patients with
Implantable Cardioverter Defribrillators
Ellen S. Burgess, John F. Quigley, George Moran, Frederigk J. Sutton, Mark Goodman
Predictors of psychological distress/adjustment were examined in 25 patients following placement of ICDs.
Patients completed a demographic questionnaire and a standardized questionnaire of psychological symptoms
(i.e., Symptom Checklist-90 Revised; SCL-90-R). The number of discharges categorized by the patient as
inappropriate and appropriate were also ascertained. The number of ICD discharges categorized as inappropriate
and diminished levels of physical activity (r = 0.53 and 0.63, P < 0.01, respectively) did significantly relate
to overall psychological distress. In addition, after controlling for age and prior psychiatric and physical
health status through a stepwise multiple regression analysis, the occurrence of ICD discharges categorized as
inappropriate and diminished physical activity continued to significantly predict overall psychological distress
(R2= 0.41, P < 0.01). However, the number of ICD discharges categorized as appropriate did not significantly predict
overall psychological distress. The results of this investigation suggest that further refinement of the ICD
could reduce the risk of exposure to potential psychological distress, and an analysis of prior and anticipated
patient physical activity levels should be a factor when calibrating minimum ICD discharge threshold levels.