An insight into healthcare professionals' perspectives on discussing implantable cardioverter defibrillator deactivation

Loreena Hill*, Lorna Cassidy, Lana Dixon, Donna Fitzsimons, Ingela Thylen, Tiny Jaarsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

International studies have examined patients' views concerning the discussion of deactivating an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Findings reported that many patients were either not informed about the subject or were informed late in their illness trajectory. To explore healthcare professionals' perspectives on discussing ICD deactivation and identify priorities for clinical practice and future research. Eleven interviews were conducted, involving heart failure nurses, physicians, and an allied professional. All were responsible for the care of patients with an ICD, from the United Kingdom or Sweden. A semi-structured guide was used. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, translated (as applicable) and analysed independently by experienced researchers, using framework analysis. Findings were presented, along with published work at a stakeholder meeting, and a consensus agreement was reached on priorities for clinical practice and future research. Four themes emerged from the exploratory interviews. Healthcare professionals described the discussion about deactivation as challenging, requiring compassion and involvement of family members. They agreed that the topic should be initiated prior to, or shortly after device implantation. This was reflected in the priorities to improve communication, through the increased availability and implementation of prompts and tools, as well as the provision of tailored information to patients and family members. Stakeholders recognised the future potential of digital technology in device education. Discussing deactivation remains challenging. Healthcare professionals recognised the need to initiate the discussion early, with compassion and involvement of family members. Priorities were agreed by stakeholders, which require clinical implementation and further research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Early online date06 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 06 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • deactivation
  • professional
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • Qualitative

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