Conveying contemporary treatment options for those at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is challenging. The purpose of the present research was to evaluate the quality and usability of available patient educational tools relevant to SCA and its treatment options, such as implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). We hypothesized that this review would identify gaps in areas of information for the enhancement of patient education and decision-making materials.
We used a formal instrument to assess specific domains of content, development, and effectiveness of 18 available SCA and ICD educational tools. The multidisciplinary review panel included two electrophysiologists, two general cardiologists, a cardiac psychologist, a health services researcher, and a patient advocate.
Of the 18 education tools, four were rated as “good, may need revisions, but sufficient for use”, 12 were rated as “marginal, needs revision prior to use”, and two were rated as “poor, inadequate for use”. None of the tools were rated as being of “very good” or “excellent” quality.
There appear to be opportunities to improve the quality and completeness of existing educational tools for patients with SCA and ICD. While many tools have been developed, they fall below current standards for supporting informed medical decision-making.||en_US