Objectives: To examine patients' pre-implantation decision-making and pre and post-implantation expectations of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). Background: LVADs have been shown to improve both quantity and quality of life of patients living with Stage D heart failure (HF). However, they also pose significant risks. Methods: 15 LVAD participants followed in a longitudinal study of Stage D HF patients were included in this thematic analysis. Results: Three themes were identified: no choice; I thought I would be doing better; I feel good, but now what. Evidence from pre-implantation to post-implantation suggested that patients' perceived expectations of quality of life improvement were not met. Conclusions: In light of their declining health, most patients felt their only alternative to implantation was death. In the post-implantation period, patients expected greater improvements in their quality of life. Evidence based guidelines for discussions of goals of care, post-implant expectations, and palliative care are necessary.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine