Prediction of behavioural and emotional problems in children and adolescents with operated congenital heart disease

Eur Heart J. 1998 May;19(5):801-7. doi: 10.1053/euhj.1997.0855.


Aims: The aim of the present study was to determine which medical variables were predictors of long-term behavioural/emotional outcome after surgical correction for congenital heart disease in infancy and childhood.

Methods: The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was used to predict parent-reported behavioural/emotional problems in 125 10-15 year-old congenital heart disease children from: (1) biographical status (2) medical history (3) heart surgery (4) short-term post-operative course and (5) number of heart operations and (6) extra cardiac concomitant anomalies.

Results: Higher CBCL total problem scores at follow-up were associated with a greater number of heart operations and deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (< 22 degrees). 'Internalizing problems' were associated with a greater number of heart operations, deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, a short gestational age, low systemic oxygen saturation, and older age at surgical repair. 'Externalizing problems' were associated with a greater number of heart operations only.

Conclusion: Several medical variables were significant predictors and can be used to identify those congenital heart disease children who are at risk of long-term behavioural/emotional maladjustment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest, Induced / psychology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / psychology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team
  • Personality Assessment
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome