Childhood heart disease

Childhood heart disease places families under strain as they adjust to their child’s condition and strive to manage changed family circumstances. Having a child with a chronic illness puts the entire family at risk of psychological and social difficulties. The past two decades has seen a welcome shift from an emphasis on the psychopathology of family functioning to a focus on the resilience of families in coping with the challenges associated with their child’s illness. We are currently working with HeartKids Australia to improve the lives of families affected by childhood heart disease. Our initial projects in this important area will focus on the development of an innovative program to support parents as they cope with their child’s heart condition. 

 

Supporting parents of children with heart disease: a review of the literature

While children with heart disease are well supported with regard to their medical treatment, their psychosocial support needs are not well addressed. We are currently conducting systematic reviews of the literature in this important area. 

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Coping with childhood heart disease: development of a new program for parents

There are many different ways that parents cope with childhood heart disease. We are interviewing parents of children with congenital heart disease in order to identify the stresses and strains faced by parents, and the ways that parents cope with these difficulties.

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