As a result of dramatically improved survival rates for children with congenital heart disease, a new patient population of adults with congenital heart disease has emerged over the last decades. Since very little was known about long-term psychosocial outcomes in these patients, several studies have been done into the psychosocial functioning of adults with congenital heart disease. For most of these studies, the main question has been whether psychosocial functioning of adults with congenital heart disease was comparable to that of their healthy peers from the general population. Within the population of adults with congenital heart disease, the effects of cardiac diagnosis and operative variables on psychosocial functioning have frequently been described. However, the effects of gender on psychosocial outcome in these patients have rarely been studied. In most studies, no comparisons were made between male respectively female patients with same-sex persons from the general population, nor has the role of gender been explored directly between male versus female patients with congenital heart disease. This can be considered remarkable, since gender-differences in psychosocial functioning have been found in the general population. Therefore it seems unwarranted to assume that the psychosocial functioning of males with congenital heart disease will be comparable to that of female patients.
Department of Psychology

van Rijen, S., & Utens, E. (2009). Psychosocial functioning in adults with congenital heart disease: The same in males as in females?. In Alice B. Todd and Margo H. Mosley (editors), Heart Disease in Men, Nova Science Publishers, 2014 (pp. 145–166). Retrieved from

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