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Physicians mending broken hearts
Date:3/29/2009

eating hearts with one ventricle), and a greater number of doctor visits in the past year.

Modifiable factors associated with lower quality of life scores among patients after surgery included recent hospitalizations and greater number of doctor visits. Non-modifiable factors included Fontan palliation and both lower income and socioeconomic status.

In children between the ages of 8 and 12, lower scores were associated with African American race, genetic abnormality, non-thoracic surgery and sternotomy the usual, vertical incision in the sternum used for heart surgery. Mental health problems in parents of children and teens of all ages in the study predicted lower quality of life scores.

Dr. Marino defines quality of life as "the impact of the specific illness or medical therapy on the child's ability to function in situational contexts, and to draw personal satisfaction from a physical, psychological, and social functioning perspective."

For a young person, the impact could range from not being able to play basketball with friends to being too embarrassed about a surgical scar to wear a bathing suit. Regardless of the factor or complication, it can influence a child's self-image, development, social interactions all of which make up quality of life.

"Our research will ultimately allow us to use the PCQLI as a screening tool to determine which patients are at risk for problems that affect their quality of life," says Dr. Marino. "We are trying to figure out how to help children at the point of care. We want to carry out research that's going to change how they carry on in their lives and allow them to grow and develop to their maximum potential."


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Contact: Jim Feuer
jim.feuer@cchmc.org
513-520-2967
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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