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J Perinatol. 2007 Nov;27(11):687-92. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Psychological distress in parents of children with severe congenital heart disease: the impact of prenatal versus postnatal diagnosis.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA. cbrosig@mcw.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the study was to evaluate coping and psychological functioning of parents of children prenatally or postnatally diagnosed with congenital heart disease.

STUDY DESIGN:

Parents of 10 infants prenatally diagnosed by fetal echocardiogram and 7 infants postnatally diagnosed with severe congenital heart disease completed the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) at the time of diagnosis, at the time of birth and 6 months after birth. Prenatal and postnatal groups were compared to each other and to BSI norms.

RESULT:

Although both groups scored higher than test norms at the time of diagnosis, they did not differ significantly from each other. Six months after birth, the postnatal group scores did not differ from test norms, but the prenatal group scores were still significantly higher than test norms. The severity of the child's heart lesion at diagnosis was related to parental distress levels; parents with children with more severe lesions had higher BSI scores.

CONCLUSION:

Results suggest the need to provide parents with psychological support, regardless of the timing of diagnosis. Parents of children with more severe lesions may be at risk for higher levels of psychological distress, particularly over time.

PMID:
17717519
DOI:
10.1038/sj.jp.7211807
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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