Quality of life, depression and anxiety in patients with a subcutaneous versus transvenous defibrillator system

Susanne S Pedersen, Nathan Carter, Craig Barr, Marcoen Scholten, Pier D Lambiase, Lucas Boersma, Jens Brock Johansen, Dominic A M J Theuns, EFFORTLESS Investigators

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Background: Use of the subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) has increased because the device received US Food and Drug Administration approval in 2012, but we still know little about whether the quality of life (QoL) of patients with an S-ICD versus a transvenous ICD (TV-ICD) is comparable. We compared S-ICD patients with TV-ICD patients on QoL, depression, and anxiety up to 12 months’ follow-up. Methods: A matched cohort of S-ICD (N = 167) and TV-ICD patients (N = 167) completed measures on QoL, depression, anxiety, and personality at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months post implant. Data were analyzed using multivariable modeling with repeated measures. Results: In adjusted analyses, we found no statistically significant differences between cohorts on physical and mental QoL and depression (all Ps >.05), while S-ICD patients reported lower anxiety than TV-ICD patients (P = 0.0007). Both cohorts experienced improvements in physical and mental QoL and symptoms of depression and anxiety over time (all Ps <.001), primarily between implant and 3 months. These improvements were similar for both cohorts with respect to physical and mental QoL and anxiety (Ps >.05), while S-ICD patients experienced greater reductions in depressive symptoms (P =.0317). Conclusion: The QoL and depression levels were similar in patients with an S-ICD and a TV-ICD up to 12 months’ follow-up, while S-ICD patients reported lower anxiety levels and a greater reduction in depression over time as compared to TV-ICD patients. This knowledge may be important for patients and clinicians, if the indication for implantation allows both the S-ICD and the TV-ICD, making a choice possible.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1541-1551
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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  • anxiety
  • depression
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • quality of life

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