Born with a heart condition: the clinical implications of polyvagal theory

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Since antiquity our hearts have been linked to our feelings in our collective conscious yet, modern medicine has relegated this organ to a functional pump. However, a wide range of psychosocial vulnerabilities including anxiety, depression, developmental delay, poorer QoL, infant feeding & oral motor difficulties are associated with being born with a heart condition (Kovacs et al, 2009). To date, these difficulties have been accounted for by secondary factors with recognition & management limited (Morton, 2015; 2014; 2012; 2011). Here, I propose Porges’ (2011) Poly Vagal Theory (PVT) offers a more holistic account of this condition (Morton, in Press). PVT provides a comprehensive understanding of our nervous system, senses, emotions, social self & behaviours. Porges proposes the nervous system employs a phylogenetic hierarchy of strategies to self regulate & respond to threat, adapting to our environment when we are safe (enabling the ‘Social Engagement System’) & unsafe (enabling defensive mechanisms), with homeostatic variability shaped during our early years. Since the heart is central to our nervous system congenital cardiac anomalies may compromise our response to stress, emotional regulation & the Social Engagement System. This has implications across the lifespan providing strategies to optimise normal development of social & defensive behaviours & inform therapeutic interventions, explored here drawing on psychological theories & personal/advocacy experience. Morton, L. (in Press) Born with a heart condition: The Clinical Implications of PVT in Clinical application of PVT around the world (working title) Ed: Porges, S & Dana, D. Norton Professional Books: New York.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2017
Event7th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 16 Jul 201721 Jul 2017
http://www.wcpccs2017.org/en/

Conference

Conference7th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery
Abbreviated titleWCPCCS 2017
CountrySpain
CityBarcelona
Period16/07/1721/07/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • poly vagal theory
  • congenital heart disease
  • medical psychology

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  • Projects

    Research Output

    Baring all: the impact of the hospital gown on patient wellbeing

    Morton, L., Cogan, N., Kornfält, S., Porter, Z. & Georgiadis, E., 20 Apr 2020, In : British Journal of Health Psychology. 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 5 Downloads (Pure)
  • The heart of medicine - Reprint

    Morton, L., 2 Apr 2019, UK

    Research output: Other contribution

    Activities

    • 5 Invited talk
    • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation
    • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - To be assigned

    Psychologically Informed Medicine

    Liza Morton (Speaker)
    29 Jan 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Cite this

    Morton, L. (2017). Born with a heart condition: the clinical implications of polyvagal theory. Poster session presented at 7th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Barcelona, Spain.