An initial clinical observation that patients with externally located cardiac pacemakers are more distressed and depressed than those with internally sited pacemakers has been confirmed. The total patient group is also characterized by its tendency to report that it does not worry about getting an incurable illness. At the same time, it is evident to others that it does have such an illness. Those patients who acknowledge that they did worry in this way were found to score significantly higher on several scales of a standardized psychoneurotic index than did the overall ‘pacemaker’ population.
Possible reasons for the greater psychological distress displayed by the group of patients with external pacemakers are discussed.
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