Prevalence and Correlates of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease.

Am J Cardiol. 2016 Mar 1;117(5):853-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.11.065. Epub 2015 Dec 13.

Prevalence and Correlates of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease.

Deng LX1Khan AM2Drajpuch D1Fuller S3Ludmir J2Mascio CE3Partington SL4Qadeer A1Tobin L2Kovacs AH5Kim YY6.

Comment by Susan Fernandes


Deng and colleagues examined the prevalence of self-reported post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 134 adults (median age 31.9 years) with congenital heart disease (CHD).  More than half (57%) of the patients recalled a medically traumatic event, with 21% meeting criteria for PTSD utilizing the Checklist-Civilian Version tool and 11% meeting criteria for PTSD by Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) tool.  Factors associated with CHD-specific PTSD using both these tools included a higher score on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and being within a year of most recent cardiac surgery.  There were no significant differences based on demographic variables, disease complexity, cardiac intervention, or recalling a medically traumatic event.  Patients meeting criteria for PTSD per IES-R scores had significantly lower scores on quality of life measures (Satisfaction With Life Scale and Linear Analogue Scale).  The authors conclude that PTSD is common in the ACHD population, with 2 in 10 patients meeting criteria suggestive of PTSD and 1 in 10 meeting criteria specifically related to their CHD.  The high prevalence of PTSD has important implications and should be considered in the medical and psychological management of this patient population.