OBJECTIVE: To describe psychological reactions, neurological sequelae, and family adjustment following sudden cardiac arrest during the first year of recovery. METHODS: 15 sudden cardiac arrest survivors and 1 member of each family were interviewed and completed questionnaires five times within the first year following sudden cardiac arrest (hospital discharge, 1, 3, 6, and 12 months). Psychological reactions assessed included anxiety, depression, anger, denial, and global stress. Neurological sequelae assessed included confusion and neurocognitive functioning. Family adjustment assessed included marital adjustment and family coping. All sudden cardiac arrest survivors suffered primary ventricular fibrillation outside the hospital and had an internal cardioverter defibrillator implanted during hospitalization. RESULTS: Anxiety, depression, anger, stress, and confusion were highest at hospital discharge and decreased over 1 year, with survivors reporting higher levels than spouses. Denial was high throughout the entire year in survivors. Memory and construction ability were impaired throughout the entire year in survivors. Family coping and dyadic satisfaction were highest at hospital discharge and decreased throughout 1 year. Spouses reported fewer coping strategies and lower dyadic satisfaction than survivors. Family social support was lower than previously established norms at all periods during the first year of recovery. CONCLUSION: To develop intervention programs to aid adjustment, healthcare providers need to take into account psychological reactions, neurological deficits, and family coping of sudden cardiac arrest survivors and their family members.
Longitudinal recovery following sudden cardiac arrest and internal cardioverter defibrillator implantation: survivors and their families
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CM Dougherty; Longitudinal recovery following sudden cardiac arrest and internal cardioverter defibrillator implantation: survivors and their families. Am J Crit Care 1 March 1994; 3 (2): 145–154. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc19126.96.36.199
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