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Implementation, feasibility, and acceptability of quality of life therapy to improve positive emotions among patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators

Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Allison J. Carroll, Lillian M. Christon, James R. Rodrigue, Joseph L. Fava, Michael B. Frisch, Eva R. Serber
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Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) save lives, but often induce significant psychological distress among patients. Positive psychological constructs are associated with improved outcomes among cardiac patients. In this NHLBI-funded randomized controlled trial, one aim was to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a positive psychology intervention (Quality of Life Therapy; QOLT, n = 11), compared to a Heart Healthy Education (HHE) control (n = 10), among ICD patients. A majority of participants across groups attended all 12 sessions (71%) and completed homework assignments (80%). Agreement on participant engagement and interventionist protocol adherence were high, with no differences between groups (ps > 0.20). A greater proportion of QOLT participants rated their sessions was “very” helpful compared to HHE participants (63% vs. 10%, p = 0.19). These initial data support the feasibility and acceptability of QOLT. A larger-scale trial using positive psychology interventions among ICD patients is indicated to determine potential mechanisms underlying the relationship between positive psychological constructs and cardiovascular health.

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