Web based distress management for implantable cardioverter defibrillator patients: A randomized controlled trial

M. Habibovic, J. Denollet, P. Cuijpers, P.H. van der Voort, J.P. Herrman, L. Bouwels, Suzanne S. D. Valk, M. Alings, D.A. Theuns, S.S. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Sudden cardiac arrest caused by cardiac arrhythmias is 1 of the leading causes of death worldwide. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are considered as standard care for patients with increased risk of arrhythmias. However, 1 in 4 ICD patients experiences psychological distress post-ICD implantation. The WEB-based distress management program for ICD patients (WEBCARE) was developed to mitigate anxiety and depression and enhance health-related quality of life in ICD patients. This study investigates the 6- and 12-months outcomes.
A total of 289 consecutive ICD patients from 6 referral hospitals in the Netherlands were randomized to either the WEBCARE (n = 146) or usual care (n = 143) group. Patients in the WEBCARE group received an online, 12-weeks fixed, 6 lesson behavioral treatment based on problem solving therapy. Patients in the usual care group receive care as usual.
Current findings show no significant difference on anxiety, depression or quality of life between the WEBCARE and Usual Care group at 6- and 12-months postimplantation.
In this clinical trial of a Web-based behavioral intervention for ICD patients, the Web-based treatment was not superior to usual care on the long-term regarding patient reported outcomes. Future studies are warranted to examine the applicability of blended-care models and focus on further personalizing the program in order to increase adherence and improve outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-401
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Cite this

Habibovic, M., Denollet, J., Cuijpers, P., van der Voort, P. H., Herrman, J. P., Bouwels, L., Valk, S. S. D., Alings, M., Theuns, D. A., & Pedersen, S. S. (2017). Web based distress management for implantable cardioverter defibrillator patients: A randomized controlled trial. Health Psychology, 36(4), 392-401. https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000451