The Relationship Satisfaction of Parents to Children With Congenital Heart Disease


  • Anni Riikonen
  • Anna Liisa Aho
  • Anja Rantanen


The purpose of the research is to describe the marital satisfaction of parents with a child with congenital heart disease, and the factors associated with it. The data were collected using an electronic questionnaire from applicable parents (n = 104) via the website of the Finnish Association for Heart Children and Adults and a closed Facebook forum where such parents are members. Marital satisfaction was measured using the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction (EMS) scale. The data were analysed using statistical methods. The variables were described by frequencies, percentages, and dispersion measures (Md = median, Q1= lower quartile, Q3 = upper quartile). Associations between the background variables and relationship satisfaction were examined using Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskall-Wallis test. Most of the surveyed parents were quite satisfied with their relationships. Parental factors associated with marital satisfaction were the gender of the parent, current health situation, support received from the spouse, problems with the spouse, and remarkable changes in economic situation during last year. The age of the child with a congenital heart disease was a factor associated with marital satisfaction. The interaction skills of the parents must continue to be supported and strengthened, because good interpersonal skills increase marital satisfaction and help resolve the conflicts that may arise in a relationship.