Caring for Infants with Congenital Heart Disease Prior to Cardiac Surgery: The Impacts on Families

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Arunrat Srichantaranit
Ratanawadee Chontawan


Purpose: To describe the impact of caring for infants with congenitalheart disease (CHD) prior to cardiac surgery on families.

Design: Descriptive qualitative methods were performed in thissecondary analysis study. Primary data from a study of “Thai families’caring practices for infants with congenital heart disease prior tocardiac surgery” were used for the analysis.

Methods: Purposive sampling was used to recruit twelve parents andtwo family members, from eight families, who brought their infantswith CHD, 3-17 months, to a university hospital in Bangkok. Datawere collected through in-depth interviews, observation, and fieldnotes, and analyzed through use of thematic content analysis.

Main findings: The impacts on families included 1) Living with stressand worry about fatal diagnosis, the heart surgery, monitoring thechild’s symptoms, and financial constraints, 2) Being exhausted andhardly ever take outing, to relax, or to take part in usual activities, and3) Effect on the family members living under the same roof includingthe child’s father and siblings.

Conclusion and recommendations: Nurses should assume activeroles to promote nursing care, including performing familyassessment, giving information, facilitating the support programs forfamilies, and providing more emotional support for families in thecontext of family at the time of diagnosis throughout the surgicaloperation phase to maintain quality of life for the children and theirfamily.

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How to Cite
Srichantaranit, A., & Chontawan, R. (2011). Caring for Infants with Congenital Heart Disease Prior to Cardiac Surgery: The Impacts on Families. Nursing Science Journal of Thailand, 29(3), 7–18. Retrieved from
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