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Psychosocial aspects of surviving sudden cardiac death.

Authors
  • Vlay, S C
  • Fricchione, G L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical cardiology
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1985
Volume
8
Issue
4
Pages
237–243
Identifiers
PMID: 3987114
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The psychosocial problems faced by the survivor of "sudden cardiac death" are discussed from the point of view of the patient, the family, and the physician. The patient faces a battery of intensive diagnostic tests, as well as concern for future capability to resume function as "spouse, parent, and citizen." Emotions such as depression, anger, anxiety, frustration, and fear must be dealt with in a constructive manner. Management includes education, support, encouragement of adaptive denial, anxiolytic medication if necessary, and relaxation techniques when helpful. Our approach begins with education of the patient and family in regard to the medical aspects of the illness. Next, we provide support for the patient and allow the patient to express his or her concerns at an individual pace. Adaptive denial is encouraged and maladaptive denial addressed. Appropriate medication is prescribed when necessary, and finally, relaxation techniques may have a role in some patients. A strong physician-patient relationship is necessary for successful evaluation and therapy. The unique stresses of the cardiologist and the electrophysiology team are described.

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