Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy is a life-threatening, inherited disease, and a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young, otherwise healthy adolescents and adults. Through the advances of modern technology, those who receive this once-devastating diagnosis, now stand an excellent chance at survival through the use of medication and a life-saving device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. However, living under the peril of life-threatening arrhythmias and life-saving shocks can cause considerable psychosocial disturbances, and potentially contribute to diminished medical outcomes. Though living with a chronic, life-threatening illness poses many challenges, it is both possible and imperative that we provide those dealing with such a diagnosis the skills necessary to go beyond surviving to thriving. Borrowing heavily from the research and collaborative efforts from the field of positive psychology, Civilian Resilience Training is an empirically-informed set of interventions designed to protect patients with these diagnoses against psychopathology and promote their ability to be resilient in the face of the significant health crises that inevitably arise as a result of their disease, as well as the lesser day-to-day crises life brings. The program is designed to help diminish the negative effects of diagnosis, reduce disease symptomology, and encourage effective coping with defibrillator intervention, while enhancing psychosocial well-being and flourishing. It is hoped this program will serve as an interventional model to build flourishing among patient populations with other chronic diseases as well.
See Jen's full capstone on Penn's Scholarly Commons website.