Psychosocial risk in families of infants undergoing surgery for a serious congenital heart disease

Hearps, Simone J., McCarthy, Maria C., Muscara, Frank, Hearps, Stephen J. C., Burke, Kylie, Jones, Bryn and Anderson, Vicki A. (2013) Psychosocial risk in families of infants undergoing surgery for a serious congenital heart disease. Cardiology in the Young, 24 4: 1-8. doi:10.1017/S1047951113000760

Author Hearps, Simone J.
McCarthy, Maria C.
Muscara, Frank
Hearps, Stephen J. C.
Burke, Kylie
Jones, Bryn
Anderson, Vicki A.
Title Psychosocial risk in families of infants undergoing surgery for a serious congenital heart disease
Journal name Cardiology in the Young   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1047-9511
Publication date 2013-06-27
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S1047951113000760
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 24
Issue 4
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the acute psychosocial risk in families with infants undergoing surgery for a congenital heart disease and, secondarily, to explore the psychosocial impact of antenatal versus post-natal diagnoses.

Method: The study sample comprised 39 caregivers (28 mothers) of 29 children diagnosed with a congenital heart disease and requiring surgery within the first 4 weeks of life. Psychosocial risk was measured using the Psychosocial Assessment Tool, which was adapted to include four novel items examining infant risk factors, namely, sleeping, feeding, crying, and bonding difficulties. Parents’ psychosocial risk was measured within 4 weeks after their child's surgery and stratified into a three-tiered framework: Universal, Targeted, and Clinical risk.

Results: Of the total sample, 61.5% of parents were classified as Universal, that is, at lowest risk; 35.9% as Targeted, and 2.6% as Clinical. The within-family parent total Psychosocial Assessment Tool score correlations were non-significant, and there were no differences between families of infants who received post-natal versus antenatal diagnosis or single ventricle versus biventricular repair. Linear regression found that a higher parent education significantly predicted a lower total Psychosocial Assessment Tool score.

Conclusions: Findings indicate that, although the majority of parents adapt to the acute stress of surgery for a serious cardiac illness in their infant, the remaining 38.5% report an increased psychosocial risk associated with higher rates of emotional distress, which may impact on the parental quality of life and capacity for optimal parenting. The distribution of psychosocial risk in parents of children undergoing surgery for a congenital heart disease is consistent with that described for parents of children with other serious paediatric diagnoses.
Keyword Psychosocial risk
Congenital heart diseas
Acute stress
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 27 June 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Thu, 27 Mar 2014, 06:56:38 EST by Kylie Burke on behalf of School of Psychology