Parents of children with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) are more likely than youth with an ICD to have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study published in the September issue of Heart Rhythm.
Lauren M. Schneider, Psy.D., from Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of PTSD in pediatric patients with an ICD and their parents. Fifty youth (aged 8 to 21 years) and 43 parents of children aged 0 to 21 years completed surveys that included demographic characteristics and PTSD measures.
The researchers found that 12 percent of the youth met the screening criteria for a likely PTSD diagnosis and 47 percent of parents met the PTSD cutoff on the screening measure. Compared with children without PTSD, those with PTSD were more likely to have had a secondary prevention ICD (83 versus 17 percent), meet the clinical cutoff for depression (67 versus 16 percent), and have higher shock anxiety scores (31.7 versus 17.9 percent). In parents, female gender and patient depression were associated with PTSD.
“Clinical practice may be improved by mental health screening of patients and parents in order to connect them with mental health services to address previously unidentified needs,” the authors write. “Given the effect that parental mental health can have on children, attention to parents of this patient population is justified and doing so will offer true family focused care.”
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