n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - The knowledge of parents of children with congenital heart disease in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Parents of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) or other heart defects face challenges when caring for these children, as most of these defects require longterm treatment and care. However, there has been no published study in Tanzania to identify parents' knowledge levels about their children's CHD.

The main objective of this study was to assess parents' knowledge about their children's CHD, their medication and the prevention of complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional design was adopted. Parental knowledge was assessed using a modified version of Leuven's questionnaire for assessing parents' knowledge about their children's CHD. The questionnaire contained 23 items. The sample comprised 84 parents accompanying their children with CHD for follow-up visits at the participating cardiac clinic and those staying with their children in the hospital's wards.
The findings indicated that 43% ( = 36) of the parents could not give a meaningful explanation of their child's CHD and (76.2% ( = 64) were unable to mention the symptoms of deterioration of the child's specific heart defect. Knowledge about the side effects of drugs, and interactions with other drugs or food were low. Parents' understanding of their children's CHD or heart defects correlated with the parents' educational backgrounds.

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