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Little is known about emotional quality-of-life in paediatric heart disease in low- and middle-income countries where the prevalence of uncorrected lesions is high. Research on emotional quality-of-life and its predictors in these settings is key to planning interventions.
Ten-year retrospective cross-sectional study of children aged 6–17 years with uncorrected congenital or acquired heart disease in 12 low- and middle-income countries was conducted. Emotional functioning score of the PedsQL TM 4.0 generic core scale and data on patient-reported limitation in sports participation were collected via in-person interview and analysed using regression analyses.
Ninety-four children reported mean emotional functioning scores of 71.94 (SD 25.32) [95% CI 66.75–77.13] with lower scores independently associated with having a parent with a chronic illness or who had died (p = 0.005), having less than three siblings (p = 0.007), and reporting a subjective limitation in carrying an item equivalent to a 4 lb load (p = 0.021). Patient-reported limitation in sports participation at least “sometimes” was present in 69% and was independently associated with experiencing symptoms at least once a month (p < 0.001).
Some of the factors which were associated with better emotional quality-of-life were similar to those identified in previous studies in patients with corrected defects. Patient-reported limitation in sports participation is common. In addition to corrective surgery and exercise, numerous other interventions which are practicable during surgical missions might improve emotional quality-of-life.
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