Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) deliver therapy for life-threatening arrhythmias. Evidence suggests that ICD candidates have misconceptions regarding ICD therapy and unmet information needs. We undertook a pilot feasibility trial comparing a nurse-led educational intervention plus standard care, vs. standard pre-ICD implantation care. Secondary aims included examination of anxiety, quality of life, and shock anxiety.
Methods and results
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator candidates were consented and randomized to standard pre-ICD implantation care vs. standard care plus a nurse-led educational intervention. The primary feasibility outcomes included: recruitment rate, consent rate, randomization rate, proportion of participants able to complete all questionnaires, time to deliver intervention, and intervention topics completion. At baseline, demographic and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) anxiety scores were collected. Four weeks post-ICD implantation, participants completed the PROMIS, Florida Patient Acceptance Survey (FPAS), and Florida Shock Anxiety Scale (FSAS). Twenty patients consented (10 per group). Feasibility targets were achieved for all but two outcomes: consent rate was 87% vs. 95% target, and completion of data collection measures was 85% vs. 90% target. Consent rate was lower than expected as one patient declined, and two could not be approached. Completion rate was lower than expected as two patients were lost to follow-up, and one did not receive an ICD during the study period, leading to incomplete post-implantation survey collections.
The results demonstrate the feasibility of conducting a trial comparing a nurse-led pre-implantation educational intervention to standard care in an outpatient setting. Further study to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention on patient-reported outcomes is warranted.