HealthDay News — A scientific statement issued by the American Heart Association and published online July 14 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes addresses psychological outcomes and interventions for children and adults with congenital heart disease.
Noting that children and adults with congenital heart disease experience a range of significant psychological challenges across the life span, Adrienne H. Kovacs, Ph.D., from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues summarized the psychological outcomes of patients with congenital heart disease and reviewed age-appropriate mental health interventions, including psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.
The authors note that for this population, data from studies on psychotherapeutic, educational, and pharmacological interventions are scarce, but promising. Models for the integration of mental health professionals into congenital heart disease care teams for pediatric and adult patients exist and have shown benefit. However, initiatives have been slow to move forward in the clinical setting despite strong advocacy by patients, families, and health care professionals.
“Despite decades of research investigating psychological outcomes of congenital heart disease and strong advocacy by patients and families, a catalyst is clearly needed to move initiatives forward in the clinical setting,” the authors write. “It is the goal of this scientific statement to spur efforts to include dedicated mental health professionals within all pediatric cardiology and adult congenital heart disease interdisciplinary teams. It is time to move from awareness to implementation.”