Surviving a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can be a traumatic experience that affects both physical and psychological well-being. In a recent study published in BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, researchers investigated the effectiveness of a social cognitive theory (SCT) intervention in improving the recovery of SCA survivors and other arrhythmia patients who received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) for secondary prevention.
What is the SCT intervention?
Social cognitive theory (SCT) is a psychological approach that emphasizes the role of social and cognitive factors in shaping behaviour. According to SCT, people learn by observing others and by experiencing the consequences of their own actions. SCT also emphasizes the importance of self-efficacy or the belief in one’s ability to perform certain tasks.
In the context of healthcare, SCT can be used to help patients develop skills and confidence in managing their condition. For example, an SCT intervention might involve setting goals, providing feedback, and using role models to help patients improve their self-efficacy and develop healthy behaviours.
The study involved 120 randomly assigned participants to either the SCT intervention group or the control group. The participants were followed up for one year after receiving their ICDs. The researchers measured physical function, psychological adjustment, and self-efficacy* at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months after implantation.
The study found that the SCT intervention effectively improved physical function, psychological adjustment, and self-efficacy among SCA survivors and other arrhythmia patients who received ICDs for secondary prevention. Participants in the SCT group reported better physical function than those in the control group at all follow-up points. They also reported better psychological adjustment at six months than those in the control group.
The findings of this study have important implications for the care and support provided to sudden cardiac arrest survivors and other arrhythmia patients who receive implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for secondary prevention. By improving self-efficacy through an SCT intervention, patients may feel more confident in managing their condition and may be better able to return to normal activities. This can lead to improved physical function and psychological adjustment, which are important factors in overall quality of life.
Furthermore, the results of this study suggest that healthcare providers should consider incorporating SCT interventions into their treatment plans for SCA survivors and other arrhythmia patients who receive ICDs for secondary prevention. By doing so, they may be able to improve patient outcomes and help patients achieve a better quality of life.
Overall, this study highlights the importance of a holistic approach to healthcare that takes into account both physical and psychological factors in recovery from sudden cardiac arrest. By addressing both aspects of recovery through an SCT intervention, healthcare providers can help patients achieve better outcomes and improve their overall well-being..
After our first meet-up in February 2015, I realised I was not alone. It was the first time since my cardiac arrest the previous year that I had spoken face-to-face with someone who had experienced what I had. This was also true for my wife, who also happened to be my lifesaver. From that meet-up, the idea of SCA UK was born. Since then, we have achieved a considerable amount, primarily providing information, resources and support to others in a similar situation but also raising the profile of survivorship and the need for better post-discharge care. We are starting to get traction in this, and with the formation of the charity, I genuinely believe we have a bright future ahead and will make a significant difference in the lives of many who join our ranks.