Behaviour and emotions of children and young people with congenital heart disease: A literature review

Nada Dahlawi, Linda Jane Milnes, Veronica Swallow

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    204 Downloads (Pure)


    Congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of the common types of birth defects. Children and young people (CYP) with CHD might exhibit behavioural and emotional changes related to undergoing different medical treatments and hospitalization. Therefore, a literature review was conducted from January 2000 to June 2017 that aimed to understand and evaluate current international literature focusing on CYP’s behavioural and emotional status as patients with CHD. A comprehensive search of Medline, PsycINFO and CINAHL databases was undertaken. Eight quantitative studies were reviewed following strict eligibility criteria. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) was used to assess the quality of the reviewed studies. Parents provided proxy reports on their children’s behaviour and emotions in all studies. Half of the reviewed studies presented the self-perceptions of children who were over seven years old. CYP with CHD exhibited internalizing and externalizing behavioural problems, withdrawal, depression, social, and attention problems. CYP with more severe CHD reported greater behavioural and emotional problems than CYP with less severe CHD. Moreover, younger children developed more problems than older children. Future more depth research using qualitative designs is required to explore the personal views of children younger than seven years old on the impact of CHD on their behaviour and emotions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)317-332
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Child Health Care
    Issue number2
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sept 2019


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