Psychiatric morbidity in adolescents operated in childhood for congenital cyanotic heart disease

J Paediatr Child Health. 2007 Oct;43(10):662-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2007.01183.x.


Aim: The aim of the present study was to assess psychiatric morbidity of adolescents operated in childhood for congenital cyanotic heart disease (CCHD) and their parents.

Methods: Participants were 31 adolescents (19 boys, 12 girls) aged 10-21 (mean +/- SD, 14.7 +/- 0.3) years, who had undergone cardiac surgery 13.7 +/- 2.48 years before the study assessment period. Twenty-two mothers and nine fathers participated in the study. Assessment tools for adolescents included: the UCLA Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-Reaction Index, The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders, and The Beck Depression Inventory; for the parents: The Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, The Spielberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory, and The Beck Depression Inventory.

Results: Nine out of 31 adolescents (29.03%) were defined as 'full post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) likely' with a total post-traumatic stress symptom (PTSS) score significantly higher than that of the non-PTSS subgroup (P < 0.001). A non-significant trend was noted for more adolescents with 'anxiety disorder likely' (P = 0.096, NS) in the PTSS versus the non-PTSS subgroups. A non-significant trend was detected showing that on all symptom domains of PTSD, as well as on anxiety and depressive measures, parents of children with PTSS received higher scores than parents of children without PTSS (P = 0.095, 0.03, 0.04, respectively, NS).

Conclusion: Children undergoing cardiac surgery for CCHD may be at a high risk for long-term PTSS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / psychology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Time Factors