ICD Knowledge and Attitudes at End of Life in a Diverse and Vulnerable Patient Population

Mark Berlacher, Carol Abousaab, Christine Chen, Arlen Suarez, Brenden E. Garrett, Rohit R. Badia, Kelley Newcomer, Simon Lee, Colby Ayers, Melanie S. Sulistio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Studies thus far lacking diversity show many patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) have poor understanding of ICD functioning, preventing informed decision-making near end of life (EOL). Objective. To describe knowledge, perceptions, and preferences regarding ICDs among patients nearing EOL in a diverse, safety-net hospital population. Methods. A cross sectional phone survey of patients with ICDs nearing EOL from a safety-net hospital was performed. The survey assessed knowledge, perceptions, and preferences regarding their ICD. Results. Nearly half (46%) of patients falsely believed turning off shocking function would stop the heart, 69% were unaware that disabling ICDs does not require surgery, and 88% said no doctor had ever discussed the option of deactivation of shocking therapy with them. Conclusion. Challenges in health care delivery in a safety-net hospital patient population may result in patients being poorly equipped to align ICD settings with goals of care when nearing EOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1808
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • defibrillator
  • diversit
  • end of life
  • goals of care
  • ICD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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