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Styles of coping and social support in a cohort of adults with congenital heart disease

  • Elisabeth H. M. van Rijen (a1), Elisabeth M. W. J. Utens (a1), Jolien W. Roos-Hesselink (a2), Folkert J. Meijboom (a2), Ron T. van Domburg (a2), Jos R. T. C. Roelandt (a3), Ad J. J. C. Bogers (a3) and Frank C. Verhulst (a1)...

Abstract

Objective: To determine styles of coping, that is personal ways of dealing with problems, and social support, or support from the social environment, in a cohort of adults with congenital heart disease. Methods: We subjected 362 patients with congenital heart disease, aged from 20 to 46 years, belonging to five diagnostic groups, to extensive medical and psychological examination from 20 to 33 years after their first open heart surgical procedure. During psychological examination, 342 patients filled in questionnaires concerning styles of coping, specifically the Utrecht Coping List, and social support, using the Social Support List. Results: Overall, styles of coping in the total sample are comparable to those of peers in the general population, except for lower active problem solving, which can be attributed to female patients. Males with congenital heart disease showed more favourable styles of coping compared to their peers, such as higher seeking of social support, lower passive reaction patterns, and lower expression of negative emotions. Compared to the reference group, the total cohort of patients reported to receive less social support, but also to experience less discrepancies between desired and received social support, indicating feelings of independence in these adults. Females with congenital heart disease were found to seek and receive more social support compared to their male counterparts. Conclusion: Overall, few differences in styles of coping were found between the patients and their reference groups. Perceived social support in the sample of patients was favourable.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Dr Elisabeth van Rijen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Institute of Psychology, Woudestein J5-37, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: 31 10 408 9755; Fax: 31 10 408 9009; E-mail: vanrijen@fsw.eur.nl

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Financial support: The Netherlands Heart foundation (No. 99.033)

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References

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Keywords

Styles of coping and social support in a cohort of adults with congenital heart disease

  • Elisabeth H. M. van Rijen (a1), Elisabeth M. W. J. Utens (a1), Jolien W. Roos-Hesselink (a2), Folkert J. Meijboom (a2), Ron T. van Domburg (a2), Jos R. T. C. Roelandt (a3), Ad J. J. C. Bogers (a3) and Frank C. Verhulst (a1)...

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