Born with a heart condition : the clinical implications of the poly vagal theory

Morton, Liza (2018) Born with a heart condition : the clinical implications of the poly vagal theory. In: Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory. Norton & Company NY, New York. ISBN 9781324000501

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Abstract

Being born with a heart condition presents increased vulnerability to a number of psychosocial difficulties, including anxiety, depression, developmental delay, infant feeding & oral motor problems, which have previously been accounted for by secondary factors. Here, I propose Porges’ Poly Vagal Theory offers a more holistic account. Since the heart is central to our nervous system congenital cardiac anomalies may compromise Neuroception which could account for some of these psychosocial difficulties. This has implications across the lifespan providing strategies to optimise normal development of social & defensive behaviours & inform to therapeutic interventions, explored here drawing on psychological theories & personal experience.