European journal of cardiovascular nursing vol:1 issue:1 pages:23-8
Adults with congenital heart disease constitute a growing patient population. Although life expectancy of these patients is increasing, they may be confronted with specific medical, psychosocial and behavioural problems throughout their life span. Special attention needs to be given to patients' illness experiences; knowledge and health behaviour; employability and insurability. Hence, comprehensive care by specialised health care professionals, addressing the multidimensional problems experienced by the patients is required. Interdisciplinary teams in which nurses guarantee the management beyond typical medical issues are promising. Key elements of nurses' involvement are facilitation of the transition process from paediatric to adult cardiology, identification of patient needs, screening and referral for psychosocial problems, and education and counselling of patients and families. In particular, an advanced practice nurse seems to be pre-eminent to optimise illness management of adult patients with congenital heart disease.