Over the past two decades there have been major advances in our understanding of the genetic basis of cardiac disease. Cardiac disorders encompass a wide range of diseases, from primary arrhythmogenic diseases and inherited cardiomyopathies to metabolic, vascular, and congenital heart diseases.
The emergence of these genetic heart diseases has created a unique cohort of patients, both affected individuals and at-risk relatives. Families with an inherited cardiac disease can experience a variety of on-going psychosocial issues which must be addressed in addition to their clinical management. Due to the unique issues experienced by these families the multidisciplinary clinics seeing these patients have expanded to include cardiologists, clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors and psychiatrists. The Cardiac Genetics Clinic at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital has functioned as a multidisciplinary clinic for over five years and encompasses these specialists to provide a comprehensive service for patients at-risk and affected by an inherited cardiac disease.
This presentation will examine some of the unique clinical and psychosocial issues and challenges experienced by families with a genetic heart disease and the benefits of the multidisciplinary clinic when caring for these patients.