A randomized controlled trial of interventions to promote adjustment in children with congenital heart disease entering school and their families

Christopher G. McCusker*, Nicola N. Doherty, Bernadette Molloy, Nichola Rooney, Connor Mulholland, Andrew Sands, Brian Craig, Moira Stewart, Frank Casey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To report on a randomized controlled trial of psychological interventions to promote adjustment in children with congenital heart disease and their families.

Method: Following baseline assessment, 90 children (aged 4-5 years) and their families were randomly assigned to an Intervention or Control group before entering school. 68 (76) were retained at 10-month follow-up.

Results: Gains were observed on measures of maternal mental health and family functioning. Although no differences were found on measures of child behavior at home or school, children in the intervention group were perceived as "sick" less often by their mother and missed fewer days from school. A regression model, using baseline measures as predictors, highlighted the importance of maternal mental health, worry and child neurodevelopmental functioning for child behavioral outcomes almost a year later.

Conclusions: The intervention promoted clinically significant gains for the child and family. The program is of generalizable significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1103
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Volume37
Issue number10
Early online date11 Sep 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Lottery Charities Board/Community Fund of Great Britain (URN: MRB 217787).

Keywords

  • child and family adjustment
  • congenital heart disease
  • psychological interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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