Research Topic

Neuro-Development and Psychological Issues in Congenital Heart Defects

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The advances in the peri-operative management of congenital heart defects have substantially improved the survival of infants over the last few decades, reaching >95% survival in the reports of the international congenital data-base from the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and form the Society ...

The advances in the peri-operative management of congenital heart defects have substantially improved the survival of infants over the last few decades, reaching >95% survival in the reports of the international congenital data-base from the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and form the Society of Thoracic Surgery (North-America).

Nevertheless, the surviving children often experience neurodevelopmental deficits and behavioral, emotional and social issues. These problems often have a profound impact on the quality of life of the growing population of these children at risk and their families.

This Research Topic will focus on the most significant and innovative researches conducted in this field during the last years. The studies aimed to predict, evaluate, and manage the neurodevelopmental and psychological long-term outcomes in children with congenital heart defects operated upon.

The articles will be including studies on the pre-operative, intra-operative and immediate post-operative period, and also on the long-term follow-up.

Reports will be presented where the health-related quality of life in pediatric patients with congenital heart defects has been compared with healthy controls, and between various diagnostic categories of different severity. Also, potential decline with advancing age will be addressed.

The same holds for evaluations of the neuro-developmental functioning, such as measurement of executive functioning, metacognitive deficits (such as problems with organization, planning, self-monitoring, and follow-through on tasks), school competency, and also school functioning.

Other articles will examine the importance of internalizing behavior problems (such as anxiety and depression) and self-perceptions, not only compared to healthy controls, but also as predictors of psychosocial adjustment reported by adolescents with congenital heart defects. Moreover the role of potential protection given by positive self-perceptions is discussed.

Finally other articles will report on the importance of the socio-economic status in influencing the children’s health related quality of life, as well as the parental knowledge in the care of children with congenital heart defects from the perspective of parents, nurses, and physicians.


Keywords: congenital heart defects, neuro-development, psychology, surgery


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