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Eur J Pediatr. 2016 Jul;175(7):977-86. doi: 10.1007/s00431-016-2728-4. Epub 2016 May 14.

Cardiac arrest in infants, children, and adolescents: long-term emotional and behavioral functioning.

Author information

1
Intensive Care and Department of Pediatric Surgery, Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology, Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Intensive Care and Department of Pediatric Surgery, Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. c.buysse@erasmusmc.nl.

Abstract

Very little is known about the psychological consequences of a cardiac arrest (CA) during childhood. Our aim was to assess long-term emotional and behavioral functioning, and its predictors, in survivors of CA in childhood. This long-term follow-up study involved all consecutive infants, children, and adolescents surviving CA in a tertiary-care university children's hospital between January 2002 and December 2011. Emotional and behavioral functioning was assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Teacher's Report Form (TRF), and Youth Self-Report (YSR). Of the eligible 107 CA survivors, 52 patients, parents, and/or teachers filled out online questionnaires. Compared with normative data, parents and teachers reported significantly more attention and somatic problems (age range 6-18 years). Parents also reported more attention problems for age range 1.5-5 years. Twenty-eight percent of the children (n = 14) scored in the psychopathological range (i.e., for age range 1.5-18 years; p < 0.001) according to parent reports. Male gender, older age, and basic life support were significantly related to worse scores on the scales internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and total problems and subscale attention problems.

CONCLUSION:

Long-term deficits in attention and somatic complaints were reported. Attention problems after childhood CA can interfere with school performance. Long-term follow-up with neuropsychological assessment should be organized.

WHAT IS KNOWN:

• Critical illness has a significant influence on the presence of long-term emotional and behavioral problems. • Long-term emotional and behavioral problems have been described for various groups of critically ill children such as congenital heart disease, meningococcal septic shock, and neonatal asphyxia. What is new: • This is the first study that addresses long-term emotional and behavioral problems in a relatively large consecutive series of children and adolescents surviving cardiac arrest. • Long-term deficits in attention and somatic complaints were reported.

KEYWORDS:

Follow-up studies; Heart arrest; Pediatrics; Psychopathology

PMID:
27177532
PMCID:
PMC4908156
DOI:
10.1007/s00431-016-2728-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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