Because of the enormous advances in the medical treatment of CHD, the long-term survival of patients suffering from this disease has increased significantly. Currently, about 90% of patients reach adulthood, which entails many new challenges both for patients and their families and for healthcare professionals. The main objective of family-centred psychosocial care is to strengthen the emotional resilience of chronically ill patients and their families by adopting a holistic approach. During the biannual meeting of the psychosocial working group in 2012, participants expressed the need for general European guidelines. The present recommendations were written to support medical staff and psychosocial healthcare professionals to provide the best care for children and adolescents with CHD as well as for their families. This article describes in detail how the integrated family-centred psychological care modules work, involving different healthcare specialists, including a paediatric/congenital cardiologist or a general paediatrician. The different clinical implications and specific needs have been taken into account and recommendations have been provided on the following: structured follow-up screening; identification of stressful periods related to cardiac surgery or invasive medical procedures; evidence-based, disease-specific, and family-oriented psychosocial interventions; and interactive media links to medical and psychosocial information.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine