Left ventricular assist device: which emotional impact on the patient?
AbstractBackground: Advanced heart failure is a challenging disease; the implantable Left Ventricular Assist Device (L-VAD) is becoming a good chance for relieving symptoms and prolong survival in most CHF patients. The emotional impact of L-VAD implantation is thought to be high but, at present, published data are scant about that. Aim of this study was to evaluate the modifications of perceived quality of life (QoL) in a group of patients recently treated with L-VAD implantation, admitted to a residential cardiac rehabilitation program, and to compare the results to those obtained in patients awaiting heart transplantation and recently transplanted. Material and Method: We enrolled 66 patients (pts) with a recent implant of L-VAD, 51 with refractory heart failure awaiting heart transplantation (HT) and 55 recently treated with HT. On day two after admission, all patients underwent a complete psychometric assessment consisting in the compilation of: â€“ Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) â€“ Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) â€“ Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI - II) Results: L-VAD recipients had significantly higher scores at MLHFQ. Both the total score and the 2 subscales scores (respectively physical and emotional disturbances) were statistically significant when compared with posttransplant patients. Post- transplant pts had the lowest scores regarding anxiety symptoms, while the bearers of device had the highest ones. The same results were obtained for depression scores (BDI - II), both in total score and in the subscales (somatic symptoms and affective symptoms). Conclusions: With an opening scoring, this study showed the development of more relevant psychological troubles in patients treated with L-VAD when compared to those awaiting for heart transplantation and those transplanted.
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