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The purpose was to examine the relationship between the complexity of structural heart disease and psychological well-being in adults with congenital cardiac disease.
A total of 380 patients registered at the Adult Congenital Heart Clinic in Calgary, Alberta, Canada were surveyed. The patients were mailed a socio-demographic questionnaire and an instrument to measure psychological well-being. The instrument of psychological well-being measures six dimensions: positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, and self-acceptance. Of the 380 patients surveyed, 85 of 205 patients with simple structural malformation responded, giving a response rate of 41%, and 78 of 175 patients with complex malformations, thus giving a response of 45%.
There was no statistically significant difference in the mean scores of each of the six dimensions of psychological well-being between those patients with simple and complex malformations. Two-way analysis of variance, and multivariate analysis of variance, found significant differences in mean scores for dimensions when other socio-demographic variables were included in the analysis. For example, significantly higher mean scores for the dimension of purpose in life was found in patients who obtained a higher level of education (p = 0.009), and in patients who were employed (p < 0.001). We present the socio-demographic variables that statistically impact the mean scores for the dimension of psychological well-being.
Psychological well-being is not affected by the complexity of the structural congenital cardiac disease. Certain socio-demographic variables that impact psychological well-being, nonetheless, must be considered when developing multidisciplinary programmes to care for young adults with congenitally malformed hearts.
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