Congenital heart disease

The patient group includes children and young people. Exercise and physical activity levels are dependent on the differing types of congenital heart disease. There may be barriers to exercise in this group, such as current symptoms, lack of interest in exercise and health fears (Swan and Hillis, 2000). A review by Brugemann, et al. (2004) found that patients with congenital heart disease should be included in multidisciplinary CR. In addition, physical training was found to be safe. A pre-training exercise test is required to determine specific and appropriate physical workload. Furthermore, education, psycho-social support and coping strategies to help reduce anxiety are essential parts of CR for this patient group. Paediatric specialists have advocated exercise-training programmes for children with congenital heart disease. A review of literature by Imms (2004) suggests that CR programmes for children should also promote occupational performance activity and integrate exercise into self-care and leisure activity.

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

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