Paper Type

Master's Thesis


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Dr. Lillia M. Loriz

Second Advisor

Dr. Lucy Trice

Rights Statement


The implantable cardioverter defibrillator (lCD) is the most effective treatment available for terminating potentially life-threatening ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. The lCD detects and attempts to correct these arrhythmias by pacing, cardioversion, and defibrillation thereby providing lifesaving therapy to patients at risk for sudden cardiac death. Currently, 150,000 Americans receive ICDs each year. Although most lCD recipients are men, more women are now qualifying for insertion (Stutts, Cross, Conti, & Sears, 2007).

Despite its established health benefits, lCD implantation is accompanied by psychological factors which merit research attention. This study investigated the experiences of women who live an lCD. The homogenous, purposeful sample consisted of 15 women who had an lCD that was implanted within the last three years and were receiving follow-up treatment at the same north Florida clinic. Data collection was accomplished through a semi-structured interview specific to the areas of pre-implantation, immediate post-implantation, and discharge home. Results were transcribed verbatim and then analyzed. Five core themes emerged from the transcripts along with multiple subcategories. The main themes included: Psychological Reactions, Physical Comfort, Procedural Issues, Body Image, and Feelings Regarding a Shock. Information obtained from this research is beneficial to nurses providing care to women with ICDs and to primary care advanced nurse practitioners in order to improve the overall health outcome and ongoing care of these women.

Included in

Nursing Commons