Posted on 07/08/2022
Alex Presciutti
Alex Presciutti

A new qualitative study by Alex Presciutti and colleagues published in the Journal of the American Heart Association describes challenges associated with cardiac arrest survivorship and discusses cardiac arrest survivors’ recommendations to improve survivorship. 

Presciutti and colleagues interviewed 15 members of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s Survivor Network and found that overall, survivors felt unprepared to confront post-arrest challenges because they were lacking proper resources, education, and appropriate expectations for recovery. 

Survivors also discussed ways to improve or cope with survivorship at various levels (systemic, social, and individual). Systemically, survivors called for early provision of resources and appropriate expectations, educating providers about post-arrest challenges, regular follow-up appointments and telephone calls after hospital discharge, and including caregivers in treatment planning when possible. Socially, survivors recommended the use of peer support groups and spending time with loved ones. They also called for care systems to provide emotional support resources for family members. Finally, at the individual level, survivors recommended practicing acceptance, resilient coping strategies, regaining control, seeking treatment for post-arrest symptoms, and focusing on meaning and purpose.

Informed by this research, Presciutti and colleagues are developing an intervention that targets many of the recommendations mentioned by the SCAF survivors. The full article can be accessed for free here