Research in practice

Understanding parents’ experiences of caring for a child with congenital heart disease

Literature review of the impact of caring for a child with congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease (CHD) effects one in every 8,000 births in the UK and across Europe (Franklin et al 2015). It can be linked to genetic or chromosomal abnormalities and the direction of treatment depends on the complexity of the defect and is adapted for each child (Yuan and Jing 2009). Caring for a child with CHD can affect the emotional, social and financial aspects of the parents’ quality of life (Azhar et al 2016). One fifth of parents struggle to cope and after their child’s diagnosis parents express signs of depression. Marital relations can become strained due to the emotional and financial burden of CHD (Lemacks et al 2013). Providing suitable support to parents and families is an important part of the care of a child with CHD and this review aimed to explore what issues were significant and identified by