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Circulation journal : official journal of the Japanese Circulation Society

Negative effect of aging on psychosocial functioning of adults with congenital heart disease.


PMID 25391256

Abstract

Improvements in life expectancy among adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) provide them with unique challenges throughout their lives and age-related psychosocial tasks in this group might differ from those of healthy counterparts. This study aimed to clarify age-related differences in psychosocial functioning in ACHD patients and determine the factors influencing anxiety and depression. A total of 133 ACHD patients (aged 20-46) and 117 reference participants (aged 20-43) were divided in 2 age groups (20 s and 30 s/40 s) and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Independent-Consciousness Scale, and Problem-Solving Inventory. Only ACHD patients completed an illness perception inventory. ACHD patients over 30 showed a significantly greater percentage of probable anxiety cases than those in their 20 s and the reference group. Moreover, ACHD patients over 30 who had lower dependence on parents and friends, registered higher independence and problem-solving ability than those in their 20 s, whereas this element did not vary with age in the reference participants. Furthermore, ACHD patients may develop an increasingly negative perception of their illness as they age. The factors influencing anxiety and depression in patients were aging, independence, problem-solving ability, and NYHA functional class. Although healthy people are psychosocially stable after their 20 s, ACHD patients experience major differences and face unique challenges even after entering adulthood.

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