Home Health For those with a defibrillator, beware of anxiety and depression

For those with a defibrillator, beware of anxiety and depression

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THE IMPLANTABLE DEFIBRILLATOR SAVES LIVES. When an arrhythmia starts, the system is able to pick up the abnormal heartbeats from the very beginning and releases a “shock” that allows the situation to be fixed. However, this sort of technological “control” that allows cardioversion can have an impact on the psychological conditions of some patients. If it is true that in most cases there are no problems, it seems equally undeniable that for someone life changes, there is a fear of the electric “shock” that the device puts in place to bring the rhythm back to normal. For these reasons, it would be important to always schedule psychological monitoring for those who undergo defibrillator placement. To say it is a research conducted by Susanne Pedersen, of the University Hospital of Odense, presented to EHRA 2021, online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (Esc). The study examined the findings of the Defib-Women study, conducted on over 1000 patients who had a cardioversion defibrillator implanted in five Danish hospitals. All subjects were followed up for two years and regularly completed a psychological questionnaire on anxiety, depression and physical quality of life at baseline at the time of entry into the research and then at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months. The analysis of the information shows that anxiety appeared in 14.5% of cases, while more than one in ten subjects (11.3%) developed a depressive picture. In general, older people had fewer anxiety problems, while among those who had families the risks were higher than average. On the front of the onset of depression, people of older age presented a lower risk, while those who had the perception of a decline in their physical activities suffered more.

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Those dangerous links between depression and heart attack

According to Pedersen, a digital support that allows you to stay in touch could be very useful for some people, in order to inform them and help them to keep psychological malaise under control, especially if the assessments of the anxiety and depression framework are particularly worrying. Thanks to these remote monitoring systems, in fact, one can hope to obtain greater attention to the conditions of the few who are most at risk of developing these frameworks. But the important thing is always to think not only of the treatments, but also of the emotional response of the subject “In situations of life-saving implants, combining psychological support of presence or distance is certainly useful – explains the co-president of the Italian Society of Psychiatry. (Sip) Enrico Zanalda. The data deriving from the study shows a significant increase in anxiety and depression compared to the general population (anxiety disorders about 8% and depression 3-5%): therefore we can consider that becoming an implant carrier is an important stress factor. , even positive since not being could mean dying. However, attention to the psychological aspects of innovation in medicine increases the effectiveness of interventions and the quality of life of patients. Therefore, the systematic proposal of support in this category of patients who have approached the risk of sudden death is welcome ”.

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