Long-term quality of life and acceptance of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy: results of the European Heart Rhythm Association survey

Łukasz Januszkiewicz, Sérgio Barra, Rui Providencia, Giulio Conte, Carlo de Asmundis, Julian K R Chun, Michał M Farkowski, Jose M Guerra, Eloi Marijon, Serge Boveda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) may impact patients' life significantly. The aim of this survey was to analyse the impact of the ICD on quality of life (QoL) metrics from the patient's perspective. 'Living with an ICD' was a prospective, multicentre study with an online questionnaire submitted to the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) Research Network centres as well as patient associations from 10 European countries; it was filled-in directly and personally by the patients that were invited to participate, with a minimal interaction or influence from the healthcare professionals. Overall, the questionnaire was completed by 1809 patients (624 women, 34.5%). Patients in their 60s and 70s and from Western Europe were the most represented. The median time from first ICD implantation was 5 years (IQR 2-10). Device-related complications were reported by 505 patients (22.4%), including one or more inappropriate shocks (n = 209, 11.6%). Almost half the respondents reported improved QoL, with a more favourable impact for those receiving cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D), and only a 10th experienced a significant decrease in QoL. The occurrence of complications remained a major predictor of deteriorated QoL (odds ratio 2.1, 95% confidence interval 1.4-3.0, P < 0.001). In conclusion, most patients have a globally positive view and acceptance of ICD therapy, reporting preserved to improved QoL after device implantation. Complications, namely inappropriate shocks, affect the expectation of living a normal life post-implant and are associated with a significant decrease in QoL. Our findings also highlight the importance of a detailed informed consent process and the involvement of the patient in the decision-making process.

Bibliographical note

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2022. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • Complications
  • EHRA survey
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Patient attitude
  • Patient education
  • Patient fears
  • Quality of life
  • ‘Living with an ICD’ programme


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