Cardiology in the Young



Original Article

A simple screening method for determining knowledge of the appropriate levels of activity and risk behaviour in young people with congenital cardiac conditions


Lynne Kendall a1c1, Jonathan M. Parsons a1, Patricia Sloper a2 and Robert J. P. Lewin a3
a1 Paediatric Cardiology Department, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, United Kingdom
a2 Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, United Kingdom
a3 British Heart Foundation Care and Education Research Group, University of York, United Kingdom

Article author query
kendall l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
parsons jm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sloper p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lewin rj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Objective: To assess a novel method for assessing risk and providing advice about activity to children and young people with congenital cardiac disease and their parents. Design and setting: Questionnaire survey in outpatient clinics at a tertiary centre dealing with congenital cardiac disease, and 6 peripheral clinics. Interventions: Children or their parents completed a brief questionnaire. If this indicated a desire for help, or a serious mismatch between advised and real level of activity, they were telephoned by a physiotherapist. Main measures of outcome: Knowledge about appropriate levels of activity, and identification of the number exercising at an unsafe level, the number seeking help, and the type of help required. Results: 253/258 (98.0%) questionnaires were returned, with 119/253 (47.0%) showing incorrect responses in their belief about their advised level of exercise; 17/253 (6.7%) had potentially dangerous overestimation of exercise. Asked if they wanted advice 93/253 (36.8%) said “yes”, 43/253 (17.0%) “maybe”, and 117/253 (46.2%) “no”. Of those contacted by phone to give advice, 72.7% (56/77) required a single contact and 14.3% (11/77) required an intervention that required more intensive contact lasting from 2 up to 12 weeks. Of the cohort, 3.9% (3/77) were taking part in activities that put them at significant risk. Conclusions: There is a significant lack of knowledge about appropriate levels of activity, and a desire for further advice, in children and young people with congenital cardiac disease. A few children may be at very significant risk. These needs can be identified, and clinical risk reduced, using a brief self-completed questionnaire combined with telephone follow-up from a suitably knowledgeable physiotherapist.

(Accepted May 19 2006)


Key Words: Congenital heart defects; physical activity; exercise prescription; risk behaviour; physiotherapy; multidisciplinary team.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence to: Lynne Kendall, Ward 10, Paediatric Cardiology Department, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 0 113 392 7310; Fax: +44 0 113 392 8474; E-mail: lynne.kendall@leedsth.nhs.uk


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