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Living with anxiety and uncertainty due to unpredictable tachyarrhythmias
Sophiahemmet University.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Att leva med oro och osäkerhet på grund av oförutsägbara takyarytmier (Swedish)
Abstract [en]


Approximately 1-2 percent of the world population lives with various heart rhythm disorders of supraventricular nature. These arrhythmias can alter the patient's lifestyle and negatively affect the balance between the demands of daily life and functional abilities. To diagnose paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) can be difficult due to spontaneity of the episodes and the transience nature of the symptoms. Finding the right treatment can also pose a challenge because some of the medicines used are associated with increased toxic risks and requires close monitoring of the patient through regular blood tests. Some patients experience recurrence of symptoms despite optimal treatment measures and adherence to treatment and self-care recommendations. 

Studies have shown that patients’ prior knowledge regarding these diagnoses is low. The nurse has a crucial role of informing and making sure that patients receive education in among other things self-care as well as information regarding disease and drugs related complications etc. There is a mutual interaction between daily life and functional health status where daily life makes demands on functional abilities at the same time as these affect how an individual lives their daily lives. In order to experience quality of life and health, the balance between these two must be maintained. The nurse has a pivot role in assisting the patient maintain the balance. 

The study’s aim was to highlight the effects of living with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) on the patient's daily life. The method chosen was literature review. Original articles were obtained from established databases such as PubMed and CINAHL, and the results from 17 articles were analyzed using content analysis. This means that the text was read several times in order to familiarize with the content. Different units were identified and the categories as well as sub-categories were coded. These formed the basis of the headings and subheading used to present the results. Four categories and ten sub-categories were identified from the studies. 

Studies show that SVT has negative effects on the patients’ daily life. Symptoms cause anxieties and uncertainties that lead to mental and emotional stress. Some patients withdraw from participating in the social activities for fear of provoking the attacks whereas others are forced to give up participation due to among other things fatigue that results from symptoms attacks. Family life is sometimes disrupted since the symptoms can lead to fatigue that negatively affects family life in that patients do not have the energy to participate in activities in their home or to live up to other requirements of their daily lives. 

The diagnosis can even affect economy since patients are forced to cut down on working hours or go into early retirement. Other patients lost their employment due to frequent hos-pital visits or inability to fulfill their duties. Physical activities as well as well-being are negatively affected too in that some patients show signs of impaired physical activities. Patients use different coping strategies such as planning their daily lives around the symp-tomatic periods. In conclusion it is suffice to state that SVT has negative effects on the patients’ daily life. The Patients would benefit from a well-structured and person centered patient education. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Arrhythmia, Supraventricular tachycardia, Daily life, Quality of life, Nursing, Tachyarrhythmia
Keyword [sv]
Arytmi, Supraventrikulära takykardi, Dagliga liv, Livskvalitet, Omvårdnad, Takyarytmier
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:shh:diva-2347OAI: diva2:947057
Educational program
Magisterprogrammet i omvårdnadsvetenskap - inriktning hjärtsjukvård
Available from: 2016-08-08 Created: 2016-07-06 Last updated: 2016-08-08Bibliographically approved

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