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Head of division:
Dr. Anna Levke Brütt
repahat2ycforschung@uol.7xu1depkf
+49 (441) 798 - 2633

Junior Research Group For Rehabilitation Science
Department of Health Services Research
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Germany

Postal address:
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
26111 Oldenburg
Germany

Visitor address:
Campus Haarentor, Building V04
Ammerländer Heerstraße 140
26129 Oldenburg

Psychological burden and coping after implantation of a left ventricular assist device – Starting points for rehabilitation

PhD supervisors:

PD Dr. Anna Levke Brütt (First supervisor)

Prof. Dr. Nils Reiss (Second supervisor)

Cooperation partners:

Klinikum Oldenburg

Funding:

The establishment of the junior research group for rehabilitation sciences was financed by an endowment of the German pension insurance Oldenburg -Bremen.

Project description:

Due to the technological progress in recent years and the persistent shortage of donor hearts, left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have become established in the treatment of terminal advanced heart failure. Accordingly, an increasing number of patients live with LVADs for longer periods of time. Research on LVADs has focused primarily on clinical issues and so far only little is known about psychosocial aspects of living with an LVAD.

To address this research gap, a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative evidence on personal and environmental factors associated with LVAD patients’ quality of life was conducted. The paper will be submitted in 2019.

Based on the review a qualitative study design was developed to explore psychological burden and coping in LVAD patients, whose therapeutic strategy is destination therapy (DT). These patients spend the rest of their lives on LVAD support. About 20 DT patients of the Klinikum Oldenburg, who wear the implant for different periods of time, will be interviewed about the burdens they face and related coping strategies. A subsample of patients who have the LVAD implanted for about one month at this time will also be interviewed longitudinally. For the preparation of the interviews patients and health care professionals will be involved as part of a project advisory board. The findings will provide a deeper understanding of the situation of DT patients and allow critically evaluating current health care practice.

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