[Psychosocial problems of adolescents and adults with congenital heart defects]

Z Kardiol. 1994 Mar;83(3):194-200.
[Article in German]


Despite successful medical treatment and hemodynamic good results after surgical correction, relevant psychosocial problems occur in adult patients with congenital heart disease. 146 patients in Germany with simple but also with complex congenital heart defects were examined by means of a questionnaire to look into these problems. Although most of the patients belonged to Ability Index I or Ability Index II of J. Somerville, almost 60% felt not healthy and impaired. The level of education was above average. 98% had attended a regular school, 23% a secondary school, and 15% had attended university. The congenital heart disease negatively affected the choice of occupation for 25% of the patients, but only 8.6% had difficulties when they applied for a job. The majority of patients was employed and satisfied with their occupation. Most of them were working in physically less demanding jobs. Sporting activities were widespread, although half of the patients felt impaired by the congenital heart disease when performing sports. All patients had some kind of health insurance. Most of them were enrolled in the common public health insurance plan. The insurers paid for almost all expenses caused by the congenital heart disease. More than 30% were not accepted by life insurance companies. Only 1.4% were members of a self-help-group for congenital heart disease. The knowledge of these occurring problems may help to improve the treatment of adult patients with congenital heart disease and, moreover, infants and adolescent patients who still have to reach adulthood may later benefit from this information.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / psychology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / rehabilitation
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / psychology
  • Postoperative Complications / rehabilitation
  • Quality of Life
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / psychology
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Adjustment*