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The aim of this study was to assess the quality of life, psychiatric morbidity, and the psychosocial adjustment of adolescents and young adults with CHD, and determine which variables play a role in buffering stress and promoting resilience and which ones have a detrimental effect; and to investigate the situation on school performance and failures, social and family support, physical limitations, and body image of these patients.
The study enrolled 137 CHD patients (79 male), with age ranging from 12 to 26 years old (M=17.60±3.450 years). The patients were interviewed regarding social support, family educational style, self-image, demographic information, and physical limitations. They responded to questions in a standardised psychiatric interview (SADS-L) and completed self-reported questionnaires for the assessment of quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF) and psychosocial adjustment (YSR/ASR).
We found a 19.7% lifetime prevalence of psychopathology in our patients (27.6% in female and 13.9% in male). Of them, 48% had retentions in school (M=1.61 year±0.82). The perception of quality of life in CHD patients is better compared with the Portuguese population in the social relationships and environmental dimensions. However, it is worse in complex forms of CHD than in moderate-to-mild ones, in cyanotic versus acyanotic patients, in moderate-to-severe versus mild residual lesions, in patients submitted versus those not submitted to surgery, in patients with versus without physical limitations, and patients who have need for medication versus those who do not. Social support is very important in improving quality of life of patients in all dimensions as well as academic performance.
Female patients and patients with poor academic performance and poor social support have worse psychosocial adjustment and perception of quality of life.
To assess the perception of the quality of life of adolescents and young adults with congenital heart disease and to examine the variables that have a negative impact on it and that add a resilience effect.
A total of 22 male and 18 female patients, aged 12–26 years, of whom 27 were admitted to surgery and 13 were not, participated in this study. All patients had complete medical records and were interviewed once; demographic and clinical data were collected, and patients filled a questionnaire on quality of life, the WHOQOL-BREF, and underwent an interview on social support, educational style, self-image, functional limitations, and emotional adjustment.
Our patients showed a better perception of quality of life than did the general population, on the basis of psychological, social relationship and environment scales. Older patients hold a better perception of quality of life on the psychological scale. Cyanosis did not show any significant impact over perception of quality of life decay; however, the number of surgical procedures and the persistence of moderate-to-severe residual injuries had considerable detrimental effect. Social support had an impact on increasing resilience, promoting adjustment to illness. Several factors may play a role in adjustment to congenital heart disease, either improving the perception of quality of life or worsening it. We may conclude that some buffer variables on congenital heart disease may play roles in increasing the perception of quality of life of patients during their lifetime, social support probably explaining why the perception of quality of life is better than in the normal population. The number of surgeries and the moderate-to-severe residual injuries, however, reverted that effect.
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