Quality of life in Maltese Adults with Congenital Heart Disease: a Second Look – An APPROACH-IS Substudy

Maryanne Caruana, Philip Moons, Adrienne Kovacs, Koen Luyckx, Corina Thomet, Werner Budts, Maayke Sluman, Katrine Eriksen, Mikael Dellborg, Malin Berghammer, Bengt Johansson, Alexandra Soufi, Edward Callus, Victor Grech, Silke Apers


Background: A first quality of life (QOL) study among Maltese adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) in 2016 found no significant differences when compared to the general population.  The aims of the present study were to (1) compare QOL between Maltese and other European ACHD patients and (2) investigate medical predictors (i.e. number of surgical/non-surgical interventions, heart failure, arrhythmias, pacemaker/implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, cardiac hospitalisation during preceding year, follow-up frequency, other medical conditions, mood/anxiety/psychiatric disorders) of QOL in Maltese patients.

Methods: Data collected during “Assessment of Patterns of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Adults with Congenital Heart disease–International Study” (APPROACH-IS) was used.  QOL was measured using linear analog scale (LAS) and Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS).  QOL in 109 Maltese and 1510 European participants was compared.  Multivariable logistic regression was used to test the predictive value of medical factors on QOL in Maltese patients.

Results: There were no significant differences in QOL between the two cohorts [mean LAS Malta 80.51 (95% CI 77.96,83.07) vs. European 79.43 (95% CI 78.65,80.21) (p=0.776); mean SWLS Malta 26.00 (95% CI 24.94,27.06) vs. European 26.26 (95% CI 25.95,26.57) (p=0.288)] and no significant differences when cohorts were divided by gender and age.  Only a mood/anxiety/other psychiatric disorder significantly predicted poorer QOL on both scales in Maltese patients (LAS (ß=-.389, p<0.001), SWLS (ß=-.352, p=0.001)). 

Conclusions: Maltese ACHD patients have a good QOL comparable to that of European counterparts.  Mood, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders can negatively impact Maltese patients’ QOL.  Better access to clinical psychology services should be ensured.


Congenital Heart Defects; Quality of Life; Patient Reported Outcome

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17987/icfj.v12i0.465

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