implantable cardioverter defibrillator, quality of life, health expectations, optimism



  1. Sears, Samuel F. PhD
  2. Serber, Eva R. MA
  3. Lewis, Tara Saia PhD
  4. Walker, Robyn L. MS
  5. Conners, Nancy RN
  6. Lee, John T. MD
  7. Curtis, Anne B. MD
  8. Conti, Jamie B. MD


PURPOSE: Clinical trials with the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) have demonstrated desirable outcomes in terms of mortality and morbidity among patients with potentially lethal arrhythmias. This study examined the "resilience factors" of positive health expectations and global optimism prospectively using the general quality-of-life (QOL) scores of newly implanted ICD patients.


METHODS: The study enrolled 88 newly implanted ICD patients (mean age, 65.3 +/- 13.2 years; 83% male; 92% white) assessed 8 and 14 months after ICD implantation. A series of 2 x 2 factorial multivariate analyses of covariance were performed to examine the differences between baseline low versus high positive health expectations and baseline low versus high optimism in short- and long-term general QOL scores.


RESULTS: After control was used for ejection fraction (mean, 31%), the patients with baseline high positive health expectations reported better general health at a long-term follow-up assessment (P = .002). The patients with high optimism reported better mental health and social functioning at a short-term follow-up assessment (P =. 056), and this finding approached significance at a long-term follow-up assessment (P = .061).


CONCLUSIONS: Positive health expectations and optimism are differentially related to various components of QOL. Collectively, these two resilience factors may be targeted in future studies of interventions to improve QOL for ICD patients.