Addressing Anxiety in the Pediatric Cardiac Transplant Population

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Autumn Ryan (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Crystal Epstein

Abstract: Background: The goal of this project is to equip the unit nursing staff with the knowledge and tools to address anxiety in their patients that are facing major surgery due to their cardiac diagnosis. The American Board of Pediatrics has put out a road map specifically recommending that families who engage in proactive support at time of diagnosis improve resilience and emotional and mental health as it relates to routine care for their anxiety (2018). Methods: Quantitative data was gathered using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, better known for its acronym GAD-7, and administered to all pediatric transplant patients ages 10-17 both pre- and post-transplant. In addition to the GAD-7, an educational intervention on the C.A.R.E. model (Lerwick, 2016) was presented to the nursing staff and focused on increasing knowledge and comfort levels as it relates to caring for the emotional needs of the patients while undergoing through the transplant process. Results: Findings showed that 30% of participants that completed the GAD-7 needed to be referred to therapy based on assessment scores. The remaining 70% were monitored and reassessed at 30 day and 45-day intervals. Post-intervention data was limited due to time restrictions and post-operative patients that met the inclusion criteria. Three patients were screened using the GAD-7 with one patient scoring high on the self-assessment tool. This patient was previously screened pre-operatively/pre-intervention and has outpatient therapy in place. Discussion: Improving a nurse’s understanding as it relates to anxiety will equip them with the necessary tools needed to effectively provide patient centered care therefore in turn, decreasing a patient's anxiety as it relates to their medical diagnosis.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Pediatric, anxiety, transplant

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