A comparison of the health status and psychological distress of partners of patients with a left ventricular assist device versus an implantable cardioverter defibrillator: A preliminary study

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Abstract

Objective

To examine if the caregiving for patients with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is related to a poorer health status and more distress compared to patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

Background

Partners distress may influence patient outcomes and is therefore an important aspect in the care of LVAD and ICD patients.

Methods

Multi-center prospective observational study with 6 months follow-up of 33 LVAD partners (27% men; mean age = 54 ± 10 years) and 414 ICD partners (22% men; mean age = 60 ± 12 years).

Results

LVAD partners reported better physical (F = 10.71, p = .001) but poorer mental health status (F = 14.82, p < .001) and higher depression scores compared to ICD partners (F = 3.68, p = .05) at 6 months follow-up, also in adjusted analyses. There was no significant difference between groups on anxiety.

Conclusion

Caregivers of LVAD patients show higher distress levels compared to caregivers of ICD patients. LVAD partners may have a need for support beyond what is offered currently in clinical practice.

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