Evid Based Nurs 7:93 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.3.93
  • Qualitative

Atrial fibrillation had a negative impact on quality of life, and treatment with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator with atrial therapies helped patients regain a sense of normalcy

 Q What are patients’ experiences of living with symptomatic, drug refractory atrial fibrillation (AF) and treatment with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator with atrial therapies (ICD-AT)?


Descriptive qualitative approach.


3 clinical centres in the USA.


11 patients (mean age 63 y, age range 35–80 y, 73% men) who had AF that was unresponsive to treatment for 1–20 years. Patients had been living with an ICD-AT device for a period of 6 months to 2 years. Patients had no documented ventricular arrhythmia.


Patients participated in semistructured interviews, which were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. 3 researchers coded the data according to key findings and themes using a qualitative interpretive approach. Codes were compared, and discrepancies were settled by a consensus process.


Patients described a chronological course of AF illness and treatment, describing the early history of their illness, treatment seeking experiences, decision making process for …

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