Coming from behind to win - A Qualitative research about psychological conditions of adolescents who have undergone open-heart surgery for single ventricle between the ages 0-5

Zahmacioglu O., Yildiz C. E., Koca B., Ugurlucan M., Gokalp S., Cetin G., ...More

JOURNAL OF CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY, vol.6, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Early recognition of congenital cardiac pathologies and their treatment by means of palliative or corrective surgery at birth or infancy has vital importance. Successful repair of congenital cardiac defects by surgical methods has gained importance especially during the last twenty years. As the scope of the surveillance increased so did the interest in the outcomes of these treatments when the patients had reached puberty and adulthood. The purpose of our research was to study the psychological framework of the adolescents who had experienced these surgeries by listening both the children and the parents talk about their feelings and experiences. Our data was accumulated through interviews with 17 adolescents and their families, using qualitative methods. The main theme at the end of the analysis was "to be strong and resistive". We reached the conclusion that this condition was not a pathological build up but an attitude of coping, as it did not cause loss of functionality. The defensive psychological mechanisms used by these adolescents consisted of repression, compensation and reaction formation. We believe that this information is important to understand the real meaning of the manners displayed when these adolescents and their families pursue their daily lives, communicate and make relationships with their environment and especially professionals in the health services.