Objective To establish whether there is more psychological distress among recipients of Björk-Shiley convexo-concave (BScc) valves than among recipients of other valves not known to fracture.
Design Cross sectional study.
Patients 137 patients who received either a BScc valve or a Sorin Biomedical spherical valve during a randomised trial between 1982 and 1983 at St Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein. Systematic notification of the risk of strut fracture in recipients of BScc valves was carried out at St Antonius Hospital in 1991.
Mean outcome measures Psychological distress as assessed with the General Severity Index from the Symptom Checklist 90.
Results Psychological distress between recipients of BScc and Sorin valves did not differ irrespective of whether the recipients knew their valve type. More recipients of BScc valves, however, knew their valve type and of problems associated with artificial heart valves.
Conclusions Information about an increased risk of strut fracture does not induce psychological distress among well informed recipients of BScc valves. All recipients of heart valves should be systematically informed about their valve type—for example, by issuing data cards with valve serial numbers and other relevant information.
- psychological distress
- artificial heart valves
- Björk-Shiley valves
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