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Developmentally Supportive Care in Congenital Heart Disease: A Concept Analysis

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Improved survival of infants and children with congenital heart disease experience has led to recognition that up to half of congenital heart disease survivors also experience developmental delay. Developmentally supportive care is a care model shown in Neonatal Intensive Care Units to be associated with improved outcomes, but developmentally supportive practices with premature infants may not be equally effective in the cardiac population that includes all ages.

Phenomena Addressed

The purpose of this paper is to present a concept analysis using the Walker and Avant method in order to identify and define characteristics of developmentally supportive care as it may be applied to the population of neonates, infants, and children with congenital heart disease. A theoretical definition of developmentally supportive care is presented.

Research Linkages

This concept analysis will provide nurses and allied health professionals with a theoretical basis to implement high quality, family-centered care that meets individual developmental needs in a population at high risk for developmental sequelae. Nursing implications for developmentally supportive care as it applies to infants and children with heart disease are discussed.

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