Biopsychosocial Predictors of Quality of Life Outcomes in Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease

Michelle M. Ernst*, Bradley S. Marino, Amy Cassedy, Carrie Piazza-Waggoner, Rodney C. Franklin, Katherine Brown, Jo Wray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The purpose of this prospective multi-center cross-sectional study was to identify key biopsychosocial factors that impact quality of life (QOL) of youth with congenital heart disease (CHD). Patient-parent pairs were recruited at a regular hospital follow-up visit. Patient- and parent-proxy-reported QOL were assessed using the Pediatric Cardiac Quality of Life Inventory (PCQLI). Wallander’s and Varni’s disability-stress coping model guided factor selection, which included disease factors, educational impairment, psychosocial stress, child psychological and parent/family factors. Measures utilized for these factors included the Pediatric Inventory for Parents, Self-Perception Profile for Children/Adolescents, Child Behavior Checklist, Revised Children’s Manifest Anxiety Scale, Child PTSD Symptom Scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale. Ordinary least squares regression was applied to test the theoretical model, with backwards stepwise elimination process. The models accounted for a substantial amount of variance in QOL (Patient-reported PCQLI R2 = 0.58, p < 0.001; Parent-proxy-reported PCQLI R2 = 0.60, p < 0.001). For patient-reported QOL, disease factors, educational impairment, poor self-esteem, anxiety, patient posttraumatic stress, and parent posttraumatic stress were associated with lower QOL. For parent-proxy-report QOL, disease factors, educational impairment, greater parental medical stress, poorer child self-esteem, more child internalizing problems, and parent posttraumatic stress were associated with lower QOL. The results highlight that biopsychosocial factors account for over half the variance in QOL in CHD survivors. Assessing and treating psychological issues in the child and the parent may have a significant positive impact on QOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Pediatric congenital heart disease
  • Psychosocial outcomes
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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