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A potential barrier to discussing deactivation of implantable cardioverter defibrillators was patients’ lack of knowledge

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N E Goldstein

Dr N E Goldstein, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA;


What are potential barriers to discussing deactivation of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in patients with advanced illness?


Qualitative focus groups.


Outpatient electrophysiology clinic at an academic medical centre in New York City, New York, USA.


15 patients 30–90 years of age (median age 69 y, 67% men) who had ICDs and were cognitively intact (scores ⩾8 on a mental status questionnaire). Patients were assigned to 1 of 3 focus groups based on ICD implantation and receipt of shock: ICD <1 year and no shock (n = 5), ICD ⩾1 year and no shock (n = 2), and ICD ⩾1 year and shock (n = 8); no participants had an ICD <1 y and shock. All participants were compensated for their time. …

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  • Source of funding: Hartford Geriatrics Health Outcomes Research Scholars Award; American Federation for Aging; National Institute on Aging.