Quality of life, health status, and depression: Comparison between adolescents and adults after the fontan procedure with healthy counterparts

Nancy A. Pike, Lorraine Evangelista, Lynn V. Doering, Jo Ann Eastwood, Alan B. Lewis, John S. Child

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Quality of life (QOL) in adolescents and adults who have undergone the Fontan procedure and are living with only 1 ventricle is presumed to be diminished. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare QOL, health status, and prevalence of depression in adolescents/adults after the Fontan procedure with healthy counterparts and to identify predictors of QOL in the Fontan group. METHODS: Using a comparative, cross-sectional design, 54 adolescents and adults with single ventricle congenital heart disease who have undergone the Fontan procedure were compared with 66 age-matched healthy counterparts. Quality of life, health status, depression, and social support were measured using the Satisfaction With Life Scale, Short Form Survey Version 2, Patient Health Questionnaire Depression Module, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Clinical variables were abstracted from medical records. Predictors of QOL were determined using multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Adolescents and adults in the Fontan group reported lower physical health status (mean [SD] = 46.5 [9.3] vs mean [SD] = 55.9 [5.1], P < .001) and were more depressed (mean [SD] = 7.3 [5.9] vs mean [SD] = 4.5 [4.3], P < .004) than their healthy counterparts. There were no differences in QOL, mental health status, or social support between the 2 groups. Functional status (New York Heart Association class), depression, and social support accounted for 55% of the variance in QOL in the Fontan group. CONCLUSIONS: Despite lower levels of physical health, the QOL of Fontan patients was comparable with that of their healthy counterparts; this finding contradicts previous proxy reports, self-reports, and assumptions that QOL is lower in patients with complex single ventricle congenital heart disease. However, because Fontan patients were more depressed than their healthy counterparts, the need for early screening and detection is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-546
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • depression
  • Fontan
  • health status
  • quality of life
  • single ventricle congenital heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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