Am I likely to have an improved, or at least the same, quality of life with an ICD?

Over the past 20 years, research has concluded that the quality of life of ICD patients is at least equal to, if not better than, medications alone in patients at risk for dangerous cardiac arrhythmias (Sears et al., 2013).  This is a comforting conclusion because previous research has already shown that there is an advantage to an ICD vs. medications alone in preventing death. Thankfully, ICD patients and their families are spared the nearly impossible decision of trading off living longer (longevity) with living better (quality of life). The majority of patients with an ICD report desirable quality of life. Approximately 20% do experience distress that can often be addressed by their medical team.