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Health-related quality of life in children who have undergone the Ross procedure has not been well characterised. The aim of this study was to characterise health-related quality of life in this cohort and compare to children with other CHD.
In this cross sectional, single-centre study, health-related quality of life was assessed in patients who underwent a non-neonatal Ross procedure using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Ross cohort scores were compared with healthy norms, patients with CHD requiring no surgical intervention or had curative surgery (Severity 2, S2) and patients who were surgically repaired with ≥1 surgical procedure and with significant residual lesion or need for additional surgery (Severity 3, S3). Associations between Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory score and patient factors were also examined.
68 patients completed surveys. Nearly one-sixth of patients had overall scores below the cut-off for at-risk status for impaired health-related quality of life. There was no difference in overall health-related quality of life score between the Ross cohort and healthy children (p = 0.56) and S2 cohort (p = 0.97). Health-related quality of life was significantly higher in the Ross cohort compared to S3 cohort (p = 0.02). This difference was driven by a higher psychosocial health-related quality of life in the Ross cohort as compared to S3 cohort (p = 0.007). Anxiety scores were significantly worse in the Ross cohort compared to both S2 (p = 0.001) and S3 (p = 0.0017), respectively.
Children who have undergone a Ross procedure report health-related quality of life equivalent to CHD not requiring therapy and superior to CHD with residual lesions. Despite these reassuring results, providers should be aware of potential anxiety among Ross patients.
Infants who require open heart surgery are at increased risk for developmental delays including gross motor impairments which may have implications for later adaptive skills and cognitive performance. We sought to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of a tummy time intervention to improve motor skill development in infants after cardiac surgery.
Infants <4 months of age who underwent cardiac surgery were randomly assigned to tummy time with or without outpatient reinforcement or standard of care prior to hospital discharge. The Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) was administered to each infant prior to and 3 months after discharge. Groups were compared, and the association between parent-reported tummy time at home and change in motor scores at follow-up was examined.
Parents of infants (n = 64) who had cardiac surgery at a median age of 5 days were randomly assigned to tummy time instruction (n = 20), tummy time + outpatient reinforcement (n = 21) or standard of care (n = 23). Forty-nine (77%) returned for follow-up. At follow-up, reported daily tummy time was not significantly different between groups (p = 0.17). Fifteen infants had <15 minutes of tummy time daily. Infants who received >15 minutes of tummy time daily had a significantly greater improvement in motor scores than infants with <15 minutes of tummy time daily (p = 0.01).
In infants following cardiac surgery, <15 minutes of tummy time daily is associated with increased motor skill impairment. Further research is needed to elucidate the best strategies to optimise parental compliance with tummy time recommendations.
Neurodevelopmental impairment is increasingly recognised as a potentially disabling outcome of CHD and formal evaluation is recommended for high-risk patients. However, data are lacking regarding the proportion of eligible children who actually receive neurodevelopmental evaluation, and barriers to follow-up are unclear. We examined the prevalence and risk factors associated with failure to attend neurodevelopmental follow-up clinic after infant cardiac surgery.
Survivors of infant (<1 year) cardiac surgery at our institution (4/2011-3/2014) were included. Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were evaluated in neurodevelopmental clinic attendees and non-attendees in univariate and multivariable analyses.
A total of 552 patients were included; median age at surgery was 2.4 months, 15% were premature, and 80% had moderate–severe CHD. Only 17% returned for neurodevelopmental evaluation, with a median age of 12.4 months. In univariate analysis, non-attendees were older at surgery, had lower surgical complexity, fewer non-cardiac anomalies, shorter hospital stay, and lived farther from the surgical center. Non-attendee families had lower income, and fewer were college graduates or had private insurance. In multivariable analysis, lack of private insurance remained independently associated with non-attendance (adjusted odds ratio 1.85, p=0.01), with a trend towards significance for distance from surgical center (adjusted odds ratio 2.86, p=0.054 for ⩾200 miles).
The majority of infants with CHD at high risk for neurodevelopmental dysfunction evaluated in this study are not receiving important neurodevelopmental evaluation. Efforts to remove financial/insurance barriers, increase access to neurodevelopmental clinics, and better delineate other barriers to receipt of neurodevelopmental evaluation are needed.
With improvements in early survival following congenital heart surgery, it has become increasingly important to understand longer-term outcomes; however, routine collection of these data is challenging and remains very limited. We describe the development and initial results of a collaborative programme incorporating standardised longitudinal follow-up into usual care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and University of Michigan (UM).
We included children undergoing benchmark operations of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Considerations regarding personnel, patient/parent engagement, funding, regulatory issues, and annual data collection are described, and initial follow-up rates are reported.
The present analysis included 1737 eligible patients undergoing surgery at CHOP from January 2007 to December 2014 and 887 UM patients from January 2010 to December 2014. Overall, follow-up data, of any type, were obtained from 90.8% of patients at CHOP (median follow-up 4.3 years, 92.2% survival) and 98.3% at UM (median follow-up 2.8 years, 92.7% survival), with similar rates across operations and institutions. Most patients lost to follow-up at CHOP had undergone surgery before 2010. Standardised questionnaires assessing burden of disease/quality of life were completed by 80.2% (CHOP) and 78.4% (UM) via phone follow-up. In subsequent pilot testing of an automated e-mail system, 53.4% of eligible patients completed the follow-up questionnaire through this system.
Standardised follow-up data can be obtained on the majority of children undergoing benchmark operations. Ongoing efforts to support automated electronic systems and integration with registry data may reduce resource needs, facilitate expansion across centres, and support multi-centre efforts to understand and improve long-term outcomes in this population.
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