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Children's Health Channel
Reported December 6, 2012

Children With Heart Devices

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Children who have implanted heart-rhythm devices and their parents suffer from a lower quality of life.  Researchers believe that they will benefit from psychotherapy.

A recent study  involving 173 children with a pacemaker (40 patients) or implanted defibrillator (133 patients)  was conducted to determine their quality of life compared to other children with congenital heart disease and to healthy children.  Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center had children, ages 8 to 18, and their parents complete a quality of life questionnaire. 

Children with heart devises and their parents’ scores were lower than healthy children and those with mild congenital heart disease, but their scores were similar to children with more severe heart disease with no device.

For parents, their child’s behavior was the biggest factor that related to their quality of life.  For children, self-perception, athletic capability, and self-worth affected them most. 

"These findings should encourage us to consider the negative impact of devices, particularly defibrillators, on pediatric patients; and to develop strategies to mitigate these effects, whether these effects on quality of life can be reduced through the use of psychotherapy needs to be assessed,” Richard J. Czosek, study author and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Heart Institute in Ohio, was quoted as saying.

Source American Heart Association Journal:  Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology, December 2012

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