Daily life and psychosocial functioning of adults with congenital heart disease: a 40–53 years after surgery follow-up study

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Introduction: Nowadays, more than 90% of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) reach adulthood. However, knowledge about their psychosocial functioning is limited. Methods: Longitudinal cohort study of patients (n = 204, mean age: 50 years, 46.1% female) who were operated during childhood (< 15 years) between 1968 and 1980 for one of the following diagnoses: atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, tetralogy of Fallot or transposition of the great arteries. Psychosocial functioning was measured every 10 years, using standardized and validated questionnaires. Results were compared with the general Dutch population and over time. Results: After a median follow-up of 45 [40–53] years adults with CHD had a significantly lower educational level, occupation level and employment rate, but better health-related quality of life and emotional functioning compared with normative data. Patients with moderate/severe defects reported significantly more self-perceived physical restrictions and lack of physical strength due to their CHD. Compared to 2011, in 2021 patients considered their CHD as more severe and they felt more often disadvantaged. Conclusions: Overall, despite a lower education, occupation level and employment rate, our sample of patients with CHD had a positive perception of their life and their psychosocial functioning was even better than the norm. Although the quality of life was very good, their view on their disease was more pessimistic than 10 years ago, especially for patients with moderate/severe CHD. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-890
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Research in Cardiology
Issue number7
Early online date19 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

This study was funded by the Erasmus MC Thoraxfoundation,
De Hoop Leven, Stichting ‘t Trekpaert and Stichting Pieter Bastiaan.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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