Romano, B.W., University of So Paulo Medical School, Brazil
Background: There have been great improvement in the survival of children following cardiac transplantation all over the world. Our institution has been the most prominent in the procedure not only in Brazil but also in Latin America, in the last decade. We are interested to follow quality of life for these children, both on cognitive and emotional aspects after transplant. At this time, the child heart transplantation program have 25 alived recipients, including 3 who are under 5 yr. old and 4 who are between 12 and 16 yr. old. Aim: this paper reports human body representation and its conflicts after heart transplant in children. Method: The drawing-a-person test was administered to 15 children who underwent to a heart transplant and that agree to participate in this research. The mean age was 10 yr. 3 mth (range 5-16 yrs); time after transplant was about 4 yr. 6 mth (range 1 - 9 yr.); age at time of transplant was about 5 yr. 6 mth (range 1 -12 yr.). Results: One of the children refused to draw-a-person and prefered to do a free-design. Two of them, in spite of their age, had drawn very primitive circle-and-stick person. Based on the other 12 tests: rotation of the paper (5); lower medium of the paper (7); strong pressure (7); all figures were frontside except one; big sized (4) and 1 was too small; receptive arms (12); 3 with hands in the pocket and 2 arms with no hands; teeths expositions (3); presence of glasses (3); 2 are superheroes; presence of central and or vertical lines (as bottons, details) on the shirt/skirt/trousers (7). Conclusions: Most of the children (except 4/15) after heart transplant has a good sight from themselves and are openwide to the world, searching adaptation. Three of them showed strong, oral and immature agressivity by drawing teethes; three other ones used glassed eyes to keep some distance from affective contact. But, all of that figures were not scaring and had other signs that confirmed their readiness to face the world. The presence of vertical lines had been observed as a persistent sign on human figures drawn by patients submitted to cardiac surgery, as a recall of the body violation. Keywords: cardiac transplant, human figure, cardiology