Abdullah Arif Yılmaz1, Mehmet Fatih Üstündağ2, Yasemin Yavuz3, Fatma Ukil Işıldak3, Ömer Faruk Şavluk3, Hakan Ceyran1

1Department of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, Kartal Kosuyolu High Specialization Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
2Department of Psychiatry, Erenkoy Psychiatry Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
3Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Kartal Kosuyolu High Specialization Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Keywords: Anxiety; caregiver burden; congenital cardiac surgery

Abstract

Introduction: This study aims to investigate the relationship between anxiety levels and perceived caregiver burden in mothers of children who had undergone congenital heart disease surgery and who were followed up in the intensive care unit with the surgical type and clinical variables applied.

Patients and Methods: The study was conducted with the mothers of both patient groups who underwent palliative surgery (n= 32) or corrective (biventricular) repair (n= 35) in the pediatric cardiovascular surgery clinic of Kartal Koşuyolu High Specialization Training and Research Hospital. Sociodemographic-clinical data form, Beck depression inventory, standardized mini-mental test, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI TX I-II), and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) were applied to the parents.

Results: The rate of interventional birth was higher in the palliative surgery group whereas there was no difference between the palliative surgery and corrective repair groups in terms of age, gender, birth weights, and presence of additional diseases (p= 0.001). There was no difference between maternal education levels and pregnancy duration. This difference was not significant even though the mean age of the mothers in the corrective repair group was higher compared to the palliative surgery group. The mean STAI-S scores of the palliative surgery group (state anxiety) were lower than the corrective repair group, and the STAI-T scores of the palliative surgery group (trait anxiety) were higher. The ZBI scores were significantly higher in the palliative surgery group (p= 0.03).

Conclusion: Congenital heart diseases and surgical interventions, as a result, are a major source of distress for affected families. Mothers are mainly affected by this situation. Changes in the mental status of the caregiver may have serious adverse effects on the operated child at every stage of the disease. Caregiving in parents is perceived as a burden and increased anxiety leads to different psychiatric clinical manifestations. Therefore, it is recommended that parents of children who have undergone congenital cardiac surgery receive routine psychiatric support from the early stages of the disease.