Parental perception of small ventricular septal defects in childhood
Version of Record online: 8 MAR 2004
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 40, Issue 4, pages 180–183, April 2004
How to Cite
Lok, S. and Menahem, S. (2004), Parental perception of small ventricular septal defects in childhood. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 40: 180–183. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2004.00330.x
- Issue online: 8 MAR 2004
- Version of Record online: 8 MAR 2004
- Accepted for publication 7 August 2003.
- ventricular septal defect
Objective: The main aim of this study was to determine the understanding and perception of parents following the diagnosis of a minor cardiac abnormality, namely a small ventricular septal defect, in the child. Other aims included discovering the reasons behind these perceptions and whether they affected the parents’ management of their child and his/her cardiac problem.
Methods: Fifty-six infants and children from two tertiary centres and the private practices of the participating cardiologists were enrolled over a 5-month period. Questionnaires were prepared and distributed to all their parents.
Results: Complete data was obtained from 40 parents. Close to 80% of the parents perceived the small ventricular septal defect as a minor problem and most understood the nature of the defect. However, when asked about precautions for their child, only two-thirds recalled the need for antibiotic prophylaxis. Most parents experienced distress and anxiety when told initially of the diagnosis but none reportedly restricted their child's physical activity.
Conclusions: Most parents have a clear understanding and perception of their child's small ventricular septal defect. There is a need for further improvement to facilitate parental understanding, especially with regard to the need for antibiotic prophylaxis.