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J Pediatr Psychol. 1995 Jun;20(3):313-28.

Preparing children with congenital heart disease for cardiac surgery.

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Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego, California, USA.


Compared the effects of two methods of preparing children for cardiac surgery. Forty-eight child-caregiver dyads were assigned to a treatment group, receiving information and coping skills training, or a control group, receiving information as routinely provided. Treatment group children were more cooperative and less upset in the hospital; better adjusted at home after discharge; higher functioning in school; and their functional health status improved faster. Treatment group caregivers expressed greater confidence in their ability to care for their children in hospital and at home after discharge. Results are discussed in terms of the cognitive appraisal model of stress coping using a multidimensional assessment of treatment effects.

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