Sense of coherence and perceived physical health explain the better quality of life in adolescents with congenital heart disease

Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2013 Oct;12(5):475-83. doi: 10.1177/1474515113477955. Epub 2013 Feb 13.


Background: Since survival rates of patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) have improved, issues beyond the quantity of life have become more important. Quality of life (QOL) has mainly been investigated in adults with CHD. Hence, research about QOL among adolescents with CHD is much needed.

Aim: To compare the QOL of adolescents with CHD with that of control subjects from the general population and to explore whether sense of coherence (SOC) explains differences in QOL between patients and controls.

Methods: In this cross-sectional, comparative study, we included 429 patients (229 boys; 200 girls) aged 14-18 years, who were matched to control subjects for age and sex. QOL was measured with a Linear Analogue Scale; SOC was measured using the SOC-13.

Results: Median QOL score in patients was 82 (Q1=75; Q3=90). The QOL of patients was significantly (Z=-5.888; p<0.001) better than that of controls (median=80; Q1=70; Q3=85.5). Adjusted for other potentially confounding factors, linear mixed modelling showed that the better QOL in patients was explained by a higher SOC (mean=61.4±12.0 vs. 53.6±10.4) and better perceived physical health (mean=87.0±13.8 vs. 85.3±13.2).

Conclusions: This study found that adolescents with CHD have a good QOL, one that is better than that of control subjects from the general population. A stronger SOC and better perceived physical health are potential resources for better QOL in patients.

Keywords: Quality of life; adolescent; congenital; heart defects; nursing; sense of coherence; transition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiovascular Nursing / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / nursing
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sense of Coherence*