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Psychological aspects of congenital heart disease

  • Freda V. Gardner (a1) and G. D. Angelini (a1)


Outcome following the treatment of congenital heart disease continues to improve and interest has focused on reducing morbidity as well as mortality. One important aspect of this is the psychological effect of congenital heart disease and its treatment on both children and their parents. This review addresses the extent and nature of the psychological morbidity associated with this disease, in particular the impact of the diagnosis on the management of patient and family. The etiology of the high level of psychosocial morbidity remains poorly understood. Data from the 1960s concerned with pre-school and school-age children is now of little value given the dramatic changes in the treatment of congenital heart disease, which is now predominantly in the neonatal period. While theory from developmental and pediatric psychology may be usefully applied to this area, further research is required to define effective psychological care for patients and their families.


Corresponding author

Dr. F. V. Gardner, University Department of Cardiac Surgery, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, United Kingdom. Tel. 0117 9283145; Fax. 0117 9299737.


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Psychological aspects of congenital heart disease

  • Freda V. Gardner (a1) and G. D. Angelini (a1)


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