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To assess behavioural problems in adolescents with congenital and acquired heart disease in comparison with healthy controls. The perception of behavioural problems by the patients’ parents was also assessed and compared.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 130 adolescents with congenital and acquired heart disease and 246 healthy controls. The second part of the Youth Self-Report was applied to the patients and controls, and the Child Behavior Checklist to the patients’ parents.
Male patients showed significantly fewer behavioural problems compared with male controls. No significant difference was found in the female gender. Healthy male adolescents scored significantly higher in the Internalising, Externalising, and in the Total Problems scales. Patients scored significantly higher only on the Social Problems subscale. Female patients in middle and late adolescence and male patients in early adolescence displayed more problems. No significant difference was found between the diagnostic groups. Operated patients did not differ from the non-operated ones. Patients scored significantly lower than did their parents.
Male adolescents with cardiac disease reported fewer behavioural problems when compared with healthy controls, but no difference was observed in the female gender. Patients also reported fewer behavioural problems than did their parents. Adolescents with cardiac disease scored higher than did controls only on the Social Problems subscale. Analysing the patients’ behavioural profile, female patients in middle and late adolescence and male patients in early adolescence were the most problematic ones. No difference was observed between the diagnostic groups, nor between operated and non-operated patients.
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