Modern medicine sustains life for many who only a few years ago would have died. In some cases, the intervention may not be curative, rather life sustaining. For survivors living with a congenital heart defect, a new study reports psychological therapy for recovering patients needs improvement.
Cases of congenital heart disease (CHD), in both adolescents and adults, have been on the rise for many years. An article in a recent issue of Congenital Heart Disease proposes that these numbers will continue to rise and that improving the quality of life for individuals will hinge on better assessment of psychological status.
With few exceptions, cardiac surgery of congenital heart defects is not curative. Complications such as arrhythmias and heart failure are common, often requiring further medical treatment and re-operations. According to background information found in the article, studies addressing the psychological effect this has on individuals have been lacking.
“The current results suggest that psychological measures of patients with operated congenital heart defects are not directly dependent on their physical fitness or on the severity of residual symptoms,” says Dr. Kambiz Norozi, M.D., lead author of the article.
“Patients’ subjective appraisals of the severity of the disease and to what degree the operated heart may be depended on are potentially important determinants of psychological state.”
Additionally, many of the patient’s psychological states regarding their own physical fitness after the operations vary depending upon their own perception of their recovery.
The findings impact healthcare practices, health and government policy as well as grants for further research in the field. The results raise the question as to which predictors influence the psychological status of patients with operated congenital heart defects.
Source: Blackwell Publishing