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Quality of life in adults with congenital heart disease: biopsychosocial determinants and sex-related differences


Objectives To assess the quality of life (QoL) in adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) and to explore the sex-related differences and biopsychosocial determinants in an Asian cohort.

Design Prospective cross-sectional clinical study.

Setting One tertiary medical centre in Taiwan.

Patients and methods The QoL of ACHD (≥20 years) was investigated using the Taiwanese version of the QoL questionnaire designed by the WHO, which assesses four domains of QoL (physical, psychological, social and environmental). Personality, psychological distress and family support were assessed using the Maudsley Personality Inventory, Brief Symptom Rating Scale, and the Family APGAR score, respectively.

Results A total of 289 patients (age 33.2±10.6 years; 36% men) were studied. ACHD women had significantly lower QoL scores in the physical and psychological domains compared to the age-matched general population, whereas no differences were observed between ACHD men and the general population. Multivariate analysis showed that female gender was associated with poorer physical QoL; the sex difference in the psychological QoL was mediated by psychological distress. Interaction analysis showed that the effect of family support on the psychological domain of QoL may be different by sex. The determinants of QoL varied between different domains. Extroversion personality trait, psychological distress and family support were common determinants of most domains of QoL.

Conclusions In ACHD, female gender was associated with poor physical and psychological QoL. The common denominators for QoL were primarily personality trait, psychological distress and family support, but not disease severity.

  • Adults with congenital heart disease
  • sex discrepancy
  • quality of life
  • paediatric cardiology

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