• device acceptance;
  • healthcare professionals;
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator;
  • nursing;
  • perceived support;
  • shock anxiety



To investigate the extent to which perceived support from healthcare professionals and shock anxiety is related to device acceptance among implantable cardioverter defibrillator recipients.


Device acceptance can be influenced by several factors, one of which is shock anxiety associated with poor device acceptance. Reduced shock anxiety, as well as increased device acceptance, has been reported after psycho-educational programmes. As healthcare professionals appear to play a significant role in providing support and education during regular follow-up visits, they may constitute an important social support system that could be another factor influencing device acceptance. However, little is known about the relationship between perceived support from healthcare professionals and device acceptance among recipients.


A cross-sectional survey design.


A sample comprising implantable cardioverter defibrillator recipients completed questionnaires assessing perceived support from healthcare professionals, shock anxiety and device acceptance. Demographic and clinical data were collected by self-report and from medical records in September–October 2010.


The descriptive results indicated that approximately 85% of the recipients experienced high device acceptance. Regression analysis demonstrated that constructive support from healthcare professionals was positively associated with device acceptance and moderated the negative relationship between shock anxiety and device acceptance. Non-constructive support and shock anxiety had a negative statistical association with device acceptance.


Healthcare professionals may represent a valuable constructive support system that can enhance device acceptance among implantable cardioverter defibrillator recipients, partly by preventing shock anxiety from leading to poor device acceptance. Non-constructive communication on the part of healthcare professionals could hinder device acceptance.