While the Health Related Quality of Life of the children with congenital heart defects is primarily affected, caring for a child with birth defect has an impact on the family’s quality of life as well. Understanding the level of quality of life of the parents, which is likely to vary in different cultural settings, beliefs and parental educational status may help to implement educational programs and other interventional measures that may improve the HRQOL of parents of such children. This cross-sectional comparative study reports the health-related quality of life of mothers of children with congenital heart diseases in a sub-Saharan setting.
Mean age of the mothers in the study group was 32.2 ± 7.1 years where as that of the control group was 30.5 ± 6.5 years (p = .054). One hundred-four children had congenital cardiac lesions classified as mild to moderate while 31 patients had severe lesions. On average, mothers in the study group showed poor performance on the Short Form-36 (SF-36) with statistically significant differences on all sub-scales including general health perception, physical functioning, role physical, role emotional, social functioning, bodily pain, vitality and mental health. Severity of the congenital heart defect was not associated with statistically significant difference in the health-related quality of life of the mothers.
Mothers of children with congenital heart disease in our study have significantly lower quality of life in all domains of SF-36 compared to the control group. Planning and devising a strategy to support these mothers may need to be part of management and clinical care of children with congenital heart diseases.