The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2020 , Vol 62 , Num 4
Awareness assessment for parents of children with congenital heart diseases regarding fetal echocardiography
Shaimaa Rakha 1
1 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Mansoura University Faculty of Medicine, El Gomhouria St, Mansoura, Egypt DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2020.04.006 Background and objectives. The high recurrence rate of congenital heart disease (CHD) in siblings was the rationale for recommending fetal echocardiography. However, in a developing country like Egypt, there are limited fetal echocardiographic examinations under this category. The study was conducted to assess knowledge about fetal echocardiography amongst parents of children with CHD.

Method. A questionnaire survey was conducted in a tertiary pediatric hospital from June to December 2018. The study included parents having children with CHD follow up in the outpatient clinic or admitted in the pediatric cardiology ward. The questionnaire included demographic data of parents regarding sex, age, education, and residence. It also includes a detailed inquiry about parents` knowledge regarding the availability, safety, and value of fetal echocardiography.

Results. Participants were 200 parents, mostly mothers 159 (79.5%). The median age of parents included in the study was 33.5 (29-40) years. Regarding awareness, 134 (67%) did not know any prenatal diagnostic investigation for CHD, 46 (23%) knew fetal echocardiography, and 20 (10%) named other tools. Nevertheless, 34% of parents thought they would need fetal echocardiography in a subsequent pregnancy. Although 178 (89%) of parents thought it might be a safe investigation, 33% did not think it will have additional benefits over postnatal echocardiography. The age of the patient and age of the participating parent were the only statistically significant predictors for parents knowledge on fetal echocardiography existence with p= 0.008, 95% CI=1.039- 1.282 and p= 0.015, 95% CI = 0.864-0.984, respectively.

Conclusion. Parents of children with CHD have significant knowledge gaps regarding Fetal Echocardiography. Our findings suggest that the current parent counseling is inadequate and needs further focus, especially in developing countries, to promote parents` understanding of the prenatal cardiac diagnosis. Data on fetal echocardiography should be clarified at the initial diagnosis of pediatric CHD. Keywords : awareness, parents, congenital heart disease, fetal echocardiography

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