Adaptation and coping in patients living with an LVAD: A metasynthesis

Martha Abshire, Roslyn Prichard, Mia Cajita, Michelle DiGiacomo, Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective To synthesize information supporting coping and adaptation of LVAD patients and to identify opportunities for future interventions. Background Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) patients demonstrate improvements in quality of life and functional status, but qualitative research has not been meaningfully integrated. Methods Qualitative meta-synthesis using Lazarus and Folkmans’ Transactional Model of stress and coping. Results Four distinct stages of adaptation were identified: Pre-LVAD, Implant Hospitalization, Early Home Adaptation and Late Home Adaptation. Each stage includes tasks in physical, psychological and social domains. Two themes emerged: 1) Primary Appraisal: Every stage is a new challenge and 2) Secondary Appraisal: Routines are achievable, emotions are more difficult. Conclusions Emotional challenges including fear and anxiety related to life-limiting illness and changed social roles need to be honestly addressed. Individuals living with LVAD achieve a sense of independence, enjoy social interactions and meaningful activities through addressing practical and emotional problems to facilitate coping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Adaptation
  • Coping
  • Heart failure
  • LVAD
  • Left Ventricular Assist Device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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