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Congenit Heart Dis. 2012 Jan-Feb;7(1):41-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-0803.2011.00600.x. Epub 2011 Dec 18.

Caregiver anxiety upon discharge for neonates with congenital heart disease.

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1
Heart Center, Nationwide Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

  Parents of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) have been shown to be at an increased risk of having psychosocial morbidities including anxiety, depression, and somatization. Little is known about the anxiety level of these parents during the initial hospital course. The goal of this study was to evaluate the anxiety level of the parents at the time of hospital discharge and to determine if certain characteristics predict higher anxiety levels.

METHODS:

  Caregivers of neonates admitted with CHD within the first 30 days of life were recruited. Anxiety levels were measured by using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Scale just prior to discharge. Spearman correlations were performed between state and trait scales vs. clinical variables.

RESULTS:

  Fifty-nine questionnaires were completed for 38 neonates. Based on state score measure of anxiety, 81% of parents denied anxiety, 14% reported borderline anxiety, and 5% reported significant anxiety. Trait scores of anxiety reflected 93% of parents who denied anxiety, 2% who reported borderline anxiety, and 5% who reported significant anxiety. There was a significant positive correlation between state score and level of education (ρ= 0.30, P < .05) and the trait score and level of education (ρ= 0.23, P < .10). Number of medications was also significantly negatively associated with standard trait score (ρ=-0.37, P < .05).

CONCLUSION:

  In general, anxiety trait scores were low for caregivers of neonates with CHD; however, there was a higher proportion of caregivers that reported anxiety in the state anxiety score. Higher education was associated with a higher level of anxiety. Future studies are needed to determine how to minimize anxiety levels during this stressful time period.

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