Psychological Outcomes and Interventions for Individuals with Congenital Heart Disease: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association

Adrienne H. Kovacs, Judith Brouillette, Patricia Ibeziako, Jamie L. Jackson, Nadine A. Kasparian, Yuli Y. Kim, Tracy Livecchi, Christina Sillman, Lazaros K. Kochilas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Although resilience and high quality of life are demonstrated by many individuals with congenital heart disease, a range of significant psychological challenges exists across the life span for this growing patient population. Psychiatric disorders represent the most common comorbidity among people with congenital heart disease. Clinicians are becoming increasingly aware of the magnitude of this problem and its interplay with patients' physical health, and many seek guidance and resources to improve emotional, behavioral‚ and social outcomes. This American Heart Association scientific statement summarizes the psychological outcomes of patients with congenital heart disease across the life span and reviews age-appropriate mental health interventions, including psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Data from studies on psychotherapeutic, educational‚ and pharmacological interventions for this population are scarce but promising. Models for the integration of mental health professionals within both pediatric and adult congenital heart disease care teams exist and have shown benefit. Despite strong advocacy by patients, families‚ and health care professionals, however, initiatives have been slow to move forward in the clinical setting. It is the goal of this scientific statement to serve as a catalyst to spur efforts for large-scale research studies examining psychological experiences, outcomes, and interventions tailored to this population and for integrating mental health professionals within congenital heart disease interdisciplinary teams to implement a care model that offers patients the best possible quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-688
Number of pages17
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • AHA Scientific Statements
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • heart defects, congenital
  • psychotherapy
  • psychotropic drugs
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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