Congenital heart disease patients' and parents' perception of disease-specific knowledge: Health and impairments in everyday life

Congenit Heart Dis. 2018 May;13(3):377-383. doi: 10.1111/chd.12581. Epub 2018 Jan 25.


Background: Children and adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD) and their families require qualified combined medical and psychosocial information, care, and counseling. This study aimed to analyze CHD patients' and parents' perception of disease-specific knowledge, state of health, and impairments experienced in everyday life, as well as factors influencing these perceptions.

Materials and methods: Analyses were based on a survey among patients/parents recruited via the German National Register for Congenital Heart Defects (NRCHD). The total sample (N = 818) was divided into four groups: "Children" (176 patients), "Adolescents" (142 patients), "Adults" (269 patients), and "Parents" (231 parents). The patients were stratified into those with simple and those with complex CHD. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed.

Results: Patients' age and CHD severity were related to self-assessed state of health (P = .04 and P = .02). In addition, CHD severity was associated with worse impairment in everyday life (P < .001). Psychosocial support was related to the self-assessed state of health (P = .01) and the reported impairment in everyday life (P < .001).

Conclusions: Patients' age, CHD severity, and psychosocial support seem to be related to self-assessed state of health and impairments in everyday life. To evaluate causality beyond associations, the development of patients' and parents' assessments and quality of life during the phase of transition from childhood to adulthood could be investigated by prospective long-term studies.

Keywords: congenital heart disease; impairments; knowledge; parent perspective; perception; psychosocial support.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Perception*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult