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Pediatr Cardiol. 2004 Jan-Feb;25(1):40-8. Epub 2003 Nov 3.

Health-related quality of life in children attending a cardiology clinic.

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Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Our purpose was to evaluate the impact of suspicion or confirmation of heart disease on the physical and psychosocial health of children. We utilized the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ PF-50). Children ages 5 to 18 years attending a general cardiology clinic were eligible. Those with primary noncardiac diagnoses unrelated to heart disease were excluded. Children with similar conditions were grouped together for analysis. Group and subgroup means were compared to a U.S. population normative sample using the two-sample t test. The CHQ was administered to 321 patients (median age, 10.6 years). Overall, parents reported mean Physical and Psychosocial Summary Scores comparable to those for the normative sample (mean, 51.5 vs 53.0, p = 0.04; mean, 52.3 vs 51.2, p = 0.10). There was a trend toward worse physical health in most subgroups, especially those with cardiomyopathy (CM) (46.5; p = 0.01), and a comparable trend toward better psychosocial health except in those requiring major interventions. In subscale analyses, most subgroups reported worse Physical Functioning than the normative sample, especially CM (85.1 vs 96.1; p = 0.02). Parents of children with CM (53.2 vs 73.0; p = 0.002) and the intervention subgroups (except minor) reported worse General Health Perceptions. Parents experienced increased Parental Impact-Emotional, especially parents of children undergoing evaluations for chest pain (62.5 vs 80.3; p = 0.007). Most parents reported comparable or better health for the Family Cohesion and Bodily Pain subscales. Generally, parents of children attending a cardiology clinic report physical and psychosocial health comparable to that for the general U.S.


However, diagnosis or confirmation of heart disease resulted in worse physical functioning and health perceptions and a significant negative emotional impact on parents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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