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Cardiol Young. 2008 Dec;18(6):569-74. doi: 10.1017/S104795110800317X. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

Specialist cardiac services: what do young people want?

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  • 1Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, Harefield Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex, United Kingdom. jo.wray@btopenworld.com



With improvements in the surgical and medical management of children with congenital heart disease, the majority are now expected to transition into adult services. Whilst the importance of successful transition is increasingly acknowledged, previous research has identified a number of areas of concern. We therefore wished to elicit the views of young people themselves concerning their requirements from a specialist cardiac service.


Using an exploratory approach our aims were to increase awareness of the service needs and expectations of young people, identify good practice and areas where communication processes and facilities could be improved, and enhance understanding of transition between paediatric and adult services. Postal questionnaires were sent to 63 young people with congenital cardiac disease aged 17 to 20 years. Open ended questions asked for views and experiences about facilities in the paediatric and adult areas, perceptions of transition between services and suggestions for improvements. Qualitative data were transferred verbatim into electronic format to facilitate coding and theming.


Thirty-eight (60.3 percent) completed questionnaires were received. A number of themes, including communication, care processes/caring interactions and environment, emerged regarding areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction within the paediatric and adult services, together with areas for improvement and important aspects of transition.


Young people's views need to be taken into account at all stages of the patient journey. They want an individualised approach to their care which recognises that they have specific emotional and practical needs. Such findings need to be incorporated into an ongoing model of care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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