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19-12-2017 | Original Article - E‑Learning | Uitgave 2/2018 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 2/2018

Driving restrictions for Dutch patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator

Compliance and associated factors

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 2/2018
N. Jongejan, I. Timmermans, J. Elders, K. Meijer, M. Meine, P. A. Doevendans, H. Versteeg, A. E. Tuinenburg
Belangrijke opmerkingen
N. Jongejan and I. Timmermans contributed equally.



Dutch patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) are restricted from driving for two months after implantation or shocks. This requires significant lifestyle adjustments and is one of the primary concerns of ICD patients. Previous studies indicated that compliance with the driving restrictions is poor, but insight in socio-demographic, clinical and psychological factors associated with compliance is limited. Hence, this study aimed to explore compliance with the driving restrictions and associated factors in a large sample of Dutch ICD patients.


Dutch ICD patients (N = 313) completed an elaborative set of questionnaires at time of implantation and at four months after implantation, assessing socio-demographic, psychological and driving-related characteristics. Clinical data were collected from the patients’ medical records.


A substantial subgroup (28%) of the patient sample (median age 64 (interquartile range = 55–71), 81% male) reported to have been noncompliant with the driving restrictions. Univariate analysis indicated that noncompliant patients more often considered refusing the ICD due to the restrictions, compared to compliant patients (19% versus 10%, p = 0.02). Multivariate analysis showed that the feeling of understanding the reason behind the driving restrictions was associated with better compliance (odds ratio = 2.16, 95% confidence interval 1.02–4.56, p = 0.04). No other socio-demographic, clinical, psychological or driving-related factors were associated with compliance.


A large number of ICD patients does not comply with the driving restrictions after implantation. This study emphasised the importance of the patient’s feeling of understanding the reason behind the restrictions.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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