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PMCID: PMC2891533 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-1697


OBJECTIVE: We sought to compare perceptions of functional health status between children who had undergone a Fontan procedure and their parents.

METHODS: Fontan procedure survivors 10 to 18 years of age were included in the study if the child completed the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) and the parent completed the parent form to assess the child's functional health status. Comparisons were made between raw domain scores for the parent- and child-completed CHQs.

RESULTS: Between March 2003 and April 2004, 1078 Fontan survivors were screened. Of the 546 eligible and consented patients, 354 were 10-18 years of age and 328 parent/child pairs completed the CHQs. Parents reported significantly lower scores (worse functioning) for their children than the children reported for themselves in the domains of physical functioning (P < .01), impact on school or activities from emotional and behavioral problems (P < .01), impact on school or activities from physical health issues (P < .01), general behavior (P < .01), mental health (P < .01), self-esteem (P < .01), and general health perceptions (P < .01). No significant differences were noted for the domains of bodily pain, family cohesiveness, or family activities. For the physical functioning domain, factors contributing to lower scores for parent versus child reports included pulmonary artery anomalies and fenestration at the time of the Fontan operation. Lower parent-reported scores also were associated with more noncardiac health problems in the child.

CONCLUSIONS: Parents' perceptions of the functional health status of their children after the Fontan procedure were worse than the children's perceptions.

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MeSH Keywords

Activities of Daily Living; Adolescent; Attitude to Health; Child; Female; Fontan Procedure; Health Status; Heart Defects, Congenital; Humans; Male; Parents; Quality of Life; Surveys and Questionnaires