Children's and adolescents' understanding of their small ventricular septal defects
Article first published online: 21 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Pediatrics International © 2012 Japan Pediatric Society
Volume 54, Issue 6, pages 824–828, December 2012
How to Cite
Lok, S. W. and Menahem, S. (2012), Children's and adolescents' understanding of their small ventricular septal defects. Pediatrics International, 54: 824–828. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2012.03736.x
- Issue published online: 21 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 21 DEC 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 8 OCT 2012 03:36AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 19 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 26 JAN 2012
- congenital heart disease;
- ventricular septal defects
Congenital heart disease is common yet poorly understood in childhood. We reviewed the understanding of older children and adolescents with the commonest congenital heart defect, namely, a small ventricular septal defect (VSD), through a questionnaire and/or their drawings of their abnormality.
As part of a wider study, older children and adolescents with a small VSD were asked to draw a picture of their cardiac defect in addition to completing a questionnaire.
Twelve of an initial cohort of 20 participants, who were between the ages of 8 and 20 years, completed a drawing of their malformation. Further drawings were obtained from five additional participants recruited from a private practice over the next few years. There were almost equal number of male and female participants overall. Nearly all participants had a limited understanding of their cardiac abnormality as reflected by their drawings. Nevertheless none reported restricting their physical activity.
While most older children and adolescents did not seem to have a clear understanding of their small VSD, it did not appear to affect their daily activity. The participants placed a greater reliance on the information provided by their parents rather than their doctor, emphasizing the importance of informing both the parents and the patient.