Introduction: Maladaptive behavioural patterns among children
undergoing cardiac surgery can be related to different perioperative states.
Objective: The aim of the present study was to describe the
long-term behavioural effects of young children undergoing cardiac surgery and
to identify perioperative risk factors associated with the development of coping
mechanisms. Method: Data of 80 children undergoing cardiac
surgery and 62 healthy controls were examined. The psychosocial characteristics
were assessed by the Hungarian adaptation of the Ways of Coping Questionnaire
and the Youth Self Report, while perioperative data were collected
retrospectively from institutional medical records. Results:
Operated children reported significantly poorer coping skills, both in terms of
emotion- and problem-focused coping compared to healthy controls. The Youth Self
Report showed no significant difference between the surgery and the control
groups in terms of internalization and externalization scores. Long-term
cyanosis resulted in dysfunctional emotion-focused coping mechanism and
somatization, while acyanotic states led to problem-focused difficulties
compared to healthy controls. Reoperations and long-term in-hospital stays were
related to an escape-avoidant behaviour and a maladaptive emotion-focused
coping. Conclusion: Children undergoing cardiac surgery are at
higher risk of developing decreased abilities to mobilize emotion- and
problem-focused ways of coping and a higher likelihood of somatization. The
duration of incomplete circulation, the number of reoperations and the length of
in-hospital stays seem to be the most significant influencing factors regarding
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2021 Volume 162
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