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We developed the Long-term Early Development Research (LEADER) project to investigate the development of children with CHD and/or after cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Both populations are at risk for delays in motor, cognitive, and language development. However, few studies to date have investigated the longitudinal development in these children.
To establish a clinical research unit, we planned three studies: a cross-sectional study in children after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (LEADER-REA Pilot Study), a longitudinal study in children after cardiopulmonary resuscitation, with a focus on evaluating various biomarkers as predictors for developmental outcome (LEADER-CPR study), and a longitudinal study in children with ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, or transposition of the great arteries after cardiac surgery (LEADER-CHD study).
Implementation of all three LEADER studies was successful and study protocols were conducted as planned. Findings from the LEADER-REA Pilot study have been recently published and data collection for both prospective trials is ongoing. Descriptive analysis of the first 20 assessments of the LEADER-CHD study showed no severe deficits in overall cognitive, motor, and language developments in the children.
Children with CHD and/or after cardiopulmonary resuscitation are at risk for developmental delay. Therefore, a detailed developmental assessment is necessary as a pre-requisite for individual developmental support. Our LEADER project has been shown to be feasible in a clinical setting and is the first step towards the establishment of a clinical research unit in our clinic with a focus on longitudinal research.
Through this study we aimed to assess the educational level and employment status of adults with CHD in Germany.
Data were acquired from an online survey carried out in 2015 by the German National Register for Congenital Heart Defects. A total of 1458 adults with CHD participated in the survey (response rate: 37.6%). For 1198 participants, detailed medical information, such as main cardiac diagnosis and information from medical reports, was available.
Of the participants surveyed (n=1198), 54.5% (n=653) were female, and the mean age was 30 years. The majority of respondents (59.4%) stated that they had high education levels and that they were currently employed (51.1%). Patients with simple CHD had significantly higher levels of education (p<0.001) and were more likely to be employed (p=0.01) than were patients with complex CHD.
More than half of the participants had high education levels and the majority were employed. The association between CHD and its severity and individuals’ educational attainment should be investigated more closely in future studies.
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