Sense of coherence as a predictor of quality of life in adolescents with congenital heart defects: a register-based 1-year follow-up study

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2011 May;32(4):316-27. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31821102ee.


Objective: Sense of coherence (SOC) is a resource for health and quality of life (QoL) in adults. The aim of this investigation was to prospectively evaluate the association between SOC and QoL in adolescents with congenital heart defects (CHDs).

Methods: This is an observational study among 770 adolescents aged 14 to 17 years from a national CHD register. SOC was measured at baseline with the SOC-L9 questionnaire. QoL was measured at baseline and at a follow-up 12 months later. For this, we used the KINDL-R (revidierter KINDer Lebensqualitätsfragebogen) questionnaire to evaluate overall well-being and 6 subscales (physical well-being, psychological well-being, self-esteem, family-related well-being, friend-related well-being, and school-related well-being). The association between SOC and QoL both in terms of overall well-being and the KINDL-R subscales was evaluated in multilevel linear models. Fully adjusted models accounted for age, gender, behavioral factors, and medical and socioeconomic status.

Results: Overall well-being, self-esteem, and school-related well-being were significantly higher at follow-up than at baseline. SOC (median: 50 [range: 16-63] points) was positively associated with overall well-being and all KINDL-R subscales at baseline. In overall well-being and the KINDL-R subscales (except in psychological well-being), significant negative interaction terms were observed for SOC at baseline and time to follow-up. However, the associations between SOC at baseline and overall well-being and all KINDL-R subscales at follow-up remained significant even in fully adjusted models.

Conclusion: SOC is an independent predictor of QoL in adolescents with CHD. In psychological well-being, this prediction remains stable, whereas in total well-being and all other QoL subdimensions, its strength as such wanes over the course of a year but does not entirely dissipate. Further studies should evaluate whether interventions designed to increase SOC in children with CHD would also improve their QoL.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Registries*
  • Sense of Coherence / physiology*