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Intellectual Functioning in Children with Congenital Heart Defects Treated with Surgery or by Catheter Interventions.

Journal article
Authors Carmen Ryberg
Jan Sunnegårdh
Maria Thorson
Malin Broberg
Published in Frontiers in pediatrics
Volume 4
Pages 113
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 113
Language en
Subject categories Paediatric cardiology


Studies suggest that children with congenital heart defects (CHD) are at risk for adverse intellectual functioning. However, factors related to lower intellectual functioning in this group are largely unknown. This study describes intellectual functioning in children with CHD in relation to severity of the heart defect, the child's age, and the socioeconomic status of the family (SES).Two hundred twenty-eight children treated with surgery or by catheter technique were tested using the Wechsler intelligence scales to determine full scale IQ (FSIQ). FSIQ was then analyzed in relation to age (3-, 5-, 9-, and 15-year olds), severity of the diagnosis (mild, moderate, and severe), and SES (low, medium, and high). The median age was 70 months (5.8 years) with a range of 162 months [30 months (2.5 years) to 192 months (16.0 years)].The total mean score on FSIQ was 100.8 (SD = 14.5). Children with severe CHD had significantly lower FSIQ than children with mild and moderate CHD, and 9- and 15-year olds had significantly lower FSIQ compared to the 3-year olds. Children from families with low SES had significantly lower FSIQ than children from medium SES and high SES families. No interaction between severity of diagnosis, age, and SES was found for FSIQ.Eighty-three percent of the children with CHD performed at or above average with respect to FSIQ. SES and severity of diagnosis had significant main effects on FSIQ. These factors should be considered when planning interventions and follow-up programs for children with CHD.

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