Stress and Quality of Life Among Parents of Children with Congenital Heart Disease Referred for Psychological Services
Congenital Heart Disease
The study examined parent stress and health‐related quality of life (HRQOL) among families of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) referred for psychological services.
Parents of 54 children (85% boys) aged 3 to 13 (Mage = 7.48, SD = 2.38) completed measures to assess parenting stress (Parenting Stress Index – Short Form; Pediatric Inventory for Parents) and the PedsQL Family Impact Module. Medical information was retrieved from medical record review.
Half of parents of children with single ventricle anatomy had clinically significant levels of parenting stress. Parents of children with single ventricle anatomy reported more frequent illness‐related stress and more difficulty dealing with illness‐related stress than parents of children with two ventricle anatomy. Younger gestational age at birth and referral for attention or behavior problems were associated with greater likelihood of parent at‐risk psychosocial functioning.
Among children referred for psychological services, many parents report significant stress and significant negative impact of the child's medical condition on the family. Results underscore the need to consider assessing parent psychosocial functioning and providing additional support for parents of children with CHD.