Family perception of unmet support needs following a diagnosis of congenital coronary anomaly in children: Results of a survey.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Long-term outcome data on patients with anomalous aortic origin of coronary arteries (AAOCA) is sparse and they are often managed in a nonuniform manner. There is subjective perception of anxiety and unmet needs in these patients and families.

METHODS

An online survey of 13 questions was sent to 74 families of patients with AAOCA between May and October 2015. Descriptive statistics were performed.

RESULTS

A total of 31 (47%) families responded. Of these, 27 expressed the need to interact with other patients/families with AAOCA. The majority were interested in either face-to-face meetings (77%) or online support groups (71%). Regarding content of the meeting, 74% were interested in brief talks by medical personnel/families, 58% suggested informal interactions with families, 55% proposed a structured discussion with a moderator and 39% mentioned fun activities/games. Regarding participants in these meetings, 90% would like to include healthcare providers, 61% suggested including family friends, 58% wished to include psychologists and 16% mentioned including social workers. The families currently use various social media including Facebook (87%), YouTube (39%), Google+ (36%), and LinkedIn (32%). For future online resources, 77% of families would like a Facebook site, an informative website (58%), a blog (52%), or an open forum (29%). The majority of the families (77%) were interested in attending a dedicated AAOCA meeting.

CONCLUSION

There appears to be an unmet need for family support in those affected by AAOCA, a substantial life changing diagnosis for patients and families. Further research is needed to assess quality of life in this population.

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