Anxiety symptoms and associated functional impairment in children with CHD in a neurodevelopmental follow-up clinic
OBJECTIVES: To examine the prevalence of anxiety symptoms and associated functional impairment to adaptive skills among elementary-aged children with CHD and to determine the need for anxiety screening in this high-risk population. STUDY DESIGN: In a single-centre retrospective, cohort design, caregivers reported anxiety symptoms using scales and functional impairment to adaptive skills using the . A total of 194 children were stratified across two cohorts: early elementary (ages 3-6 years) and late elementary (ages 6-14 years). Descriptive statistics summarised the frequency of anxiety symptoms and functional impairment. Spearman's correlations compared anxiety symptoms to functional impairment of adaptive functioning. Univariable logistic regressions examined demographic and clinical characteristics associated with anxiety symptoms. RESULTS: The majority of patients presented with anxiety, early elementary (63%), and late elementary cohorts (78%). Functional impairment was moderately correlated with anxiety symptoms in the early elementary cohort ( = -.42, 95% CI [-0.58, -0.21], p = <.001). Greater anxiety symptoms were associated with lower cardiac complexity at primary age of surgery in the late elementary cohort (OR = 12.15, p = 0.019). Lesser anxiety symptoms were associated with having private insurance (OR = 0.25, p = 0.014). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates anxiety symptoms are common and associated with functional impairment to adaptive functioning in younger children with CHD. No clear clinical predictors exist for anxiety symptoms or functional impairment; therefore, screening for anxiety symptoms may need to be added to standard clinical assessment of all children with CHD participating in neurodevelopmental follow-up.