Quality of Life Research

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 2063–2072

Well-being in mothers of children with congenital heart defects: a 3-year follow-up

  • Maria T. Grønning Dale
  • Øivind Solberg
  • Henrik Holmstrøm
  • Markus A. Landolt
  • Leif T. Eskedal
  • Margarete E. Vollrath
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11136-012-0326-0

Cite this article as:
Grønning Dale, M.T., Solberg, Ø., Holmstrøm, H. et al. Qual Life Res (2013) 22: 2063. doi:10.1007/s11136-012-0326-0

Abstract

Purpose

This prospective case–cohort study compared subjective well-being (SWB) among mothers whose children had various degrees of congenital heart defects (CHD) with mothers of children without CHD (controls).

Methods

Nationwide CHD registry data were linked to data collected from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study at gestational week 30, 6 months, and 36 months postpartum. A total of 175 mothers of children with mild, moderate, and severe CHD were identified in a cohort of 44,144 mothers. The SWB index was operationalized by means of three subscales: a cognitive aspect, positive affect, and negative affect.

Results

Mothers of children with severe CHD reported significantly lower SWB than the controls at 6 months postpartum (p = .003), with further decrease in SWB at 36 months postpartum (p = .001). SWB levels in the mild and moderate CHD group did not deviate significantly from controls.

Conclusions

The findings suggest a pattern in which all stressors concerning the severely ill child lead to significant deterioration of maternal well-being. Having a child with mild or moderate CHD, which is a less severe and shorter-term stressor, did not reduce mothers’ well-being.

Keywords

Congenital heart defects Longitudinal research Distress Motherhood Coping 

Abbreviations

CHD

Congenital heart defect

SWB

Subjective well-being

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria T. Grønning Dale
    • 1
    • 2
  • Øivind Solberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henrik Holmstrøm
    • 3
  • Markus A. Landolt
    • 4
  • Leif T. Eskedal
    • 5
  • Margarete E. Vollrath
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychosomatics and Health BehaviorNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  4. 4.Department of Psychosomatics and Psychiatry, Children’ Research CenterUniversity Children’s HospitalZurichSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsSørlandet Hospital HFKristiansandNorway