The Relationship of Anxiety, Depression, and Quality of Life in Adults With Left Ventricular Assist Devices

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Psychological distress, including anxiety and depression, is commonly reported by patients with implantable left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). Still, the influence of anxiety and depression on global quality of life (QOL) is unknown. Moreover, the empirical data of LVAD patients’ QOL is limited to 24 months. This study examined the differences in anxiety, depression, and QOL based on 3 LVAD implant duration groups (≤12, 13–24, and ≥25 months). We also examined the influence of anxiety and depression on QOL. An observational cross-sectional study design was employed using self-administered demographics, anxiety, depression, and global QOL questionnaires. A total of 100 patients (mean age 52 ± 13.3 years) across the United States completed the study. In the 3 implant duration groups, we found no significant differences in anxiety and depression, but the global QOL scores of patients with LVADs ≥ 13 months were significantly worse than those of patients with LVADs ≤ 12 months. Also, the correlations between QOL and either anxiety or depression were significant: Pearson’s r ranged from −0.44 to −0.65 with all p values <0.0001. Compared with anxiety, depression is a stronger predictor of QOL. Our data showed that when depression is increased by 1 unit, the average QOL decreased by 0.76 units, assuming anxiety is held constant. This study uncovered relationships among anxiety, depression, and QOL in patients with long-term LVADs. Longitudinal research is needed to confirm our findings and explore factors that may contribute to worse QOL, particularly, those patients supported with LVADs beyond 13 months.

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