(HealthDay News) – The presence of cardiac rhythm devices negatively impacts pediatric patient and parent-reported quality of life (QOL), according to a study published online Dec. 4 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

Richard J. Czosek, MD, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues examined the drivers of QOL in pediatric patients (age 8–18 years) with cardiac rhythm devices in a cross-sectional study at eight pediatric centers. One hundred seventy-three patient-parent pairs (40 with defibrillators and 133 with pacemakers) were included in the study and completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) and Pediatric Cardiac Quality of Life Inventory (PCQLI). Outcomes for patients with devices were compared with outcomes for healthy controls and patients with congenital heart disease (CHD).

The researchers found that patients with devices and their parents reported significantly lower PedsQL scoring, compared with healthy controls. Patients with devices and their parents reported significantly lower PCQLI scores compared with patients with mild forms of CHD, and similar scores to those with more severe CHD. The presence of implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and CHD were identified as key drivers of patient QOL. For patients, a key driver of lower QOL was self-perception, and for parents, behavioral issues correlated with lower QOL.

“These findings should encourage us to consider the negative impact of devices, particularly ICDs, on pediatric patients; and to develop strategies to mitigate these effects,” the authors write. “Whether these effects on QOL can be reduced through the use of psychotherapy needs to be assessed.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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