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PMCID: PMC4068336 DOI: 10.1017/S1047951113000632


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare associations between generic versus disease-specific functional health status assessments and patient and clinical characteristics for patients with severe congenital heart disease.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional observational study involving 325 single ventricle patients, aged 10-18 years, after Fontan procedure. Enrolled patients underwent a medical history review, laboratory testing, and assessment of the functional health status by completion of the generic Child Report Child Health Questionnaire and the disease-specific Congenital Heart Adolescent and Teenage questionnaire. Correlated conceptually equivalent domains from both questionnaires were identified and their associations with patient and clinical variables were compared.

RESULTS: From the generic assessment, patients perceived marginally lower physical functioning (p = 0.05) but greater freedom from bodily pain compared with a normal population (p < 0.001). The equivalent physical functioning/limitations domain of the generic instrument, compared with the disease-specific instrument, had similar associations (higher multi-variable model R²) with medical history variables (R² = 0.14 versus R² = 0.12, respectively) and stronger associations with exercise testing variables (R² = 0.22 versus R² = 0.06). Similarly, the corresponding freedom from bodily pain/symptoms domains from both questionnaires showed a greater association for the generic instrument with medical history variables (R² = 0.15 versus R² = 0.09, respectively) and non-cardiac conditions (R² = 0.13 versus R² = 0.06). The associations of each questionnaire with echocardiographic results, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging results, and serum brain natriuretic peptide levels were uniformly weak (R² range

CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of the physical functional health status using generic and disease-specific instruments yields few differences with regard to associations between conceptually similar domains and patient and clinical characteristics for adolescents after Fontan procedure.

Journal Title

Cardiology in the young





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Child; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Fontan Procedure; Health Status; Heart Defects, Congenital; Humans; Male; Surveys and Questionnaires


Congenital heart defects; CHD; Heart Surgery; Fontan Operation; Outcomes