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Partners of ICD patients - An exploratory study of their experiences

Albarran, John; Tagney, Jenny; James, Jayne


John Albarran

Jenny Tagney

Jayne James


The experiences of partners who care for and support the needs of a loved one with an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) remain largely unknown within Europe.This study explored the nature of partner's experiences from the pre-ICD implantation phase up until a maximum of 20 months at home.Eight partners cohabiting with a recipient of an ICD were interviewed using a semistructured schedule. All interviews were transcribed and content analysed for emerging categories and themes.Four themes representing 11 categories conceptualised the partners' experiences, these included: Acknowledging the patient's need for the device, reactions to the device, safeguarding the patient, and returning to normality.This qualitative study suggests that partners of ICD recipients progress through various difficult and adaptive stages when learning how best to support the patient. A point is reached when most are able to assume control and normalise their lives. This transformation is slow; however, to improve this process and empower partners, nurses should provide relevant information and include them in decisions affecting the patient. Further research into the unique needs of partners, which includes international perspectives, would be significant in developing practice and theory in this area. © 2004 European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Albarran, J., Tagney, J., & James, J. (2004). Partners of ICD patients - An exploratory study of their experiences. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 3(3), 201-210.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2004
Journal European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Print ISSN 1474-5151
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 3
Pages 201-210
Keywords sudden cardiac arrest, implantable cardiac defibrillator, family support, partner involvement, caregiver experiences, qualitative research
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