Relationship-Based Care for Newborns With Down Syndrome and Endocardial Cushion Defect

Nurs Womens Health. 2015 Oct-Nov;19(5):410-21. doi: 10.1111/1751-486X.12232.


Down syndrome with endocardial cushion defect is a challenging diagnosis for parents as well as members of the health care team. Utilizing a framework of relationship-based care, nurses are in a position to positively affect parents' experience by providing education, advocacy, and support from initial diagnosis through discharge. The plan of care is multidisciplinary and focuses on critical developmental needs, such as bonding and feeding. Because Down syndrome is associated with multiple anomalies, anticipatory guidance is needed to assist parents with establishing a health maintenance plan for their child after discharge.

Keywords: Down syndrome; endocardial cushion defect; relationship-based care.

MeSH terms

  • Down Syndrome / nursing
  • Down Syndrome / psychology*
  • Endocardial Cushion Defects / diagnosis
  • Endocardial Cushion Defects / nursing*
  • Endocardial Cushion Defects / therapy
  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Social Support