Health Related Quality of Life and Social Support in Pediatric Patients with Pacemakers

  • Patricia Cheng
  • Ana M. Gutierrez-ColinaEmail author
  • Kristin A. Loiselle
  • Margaret Strieper
  • Patrick Frias
  • Kevin Gooden
  • Ronald L. Blount


Prior research evaluating health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among pediatric patients with internal cardiac devices has primarily focused on children with cardiac defibrillators, with scant attention devoted to pacemaker recipients. Social support has been conceptualized as a protective factor that partially accounts for differences in HRQOL. This study compares the HRQOL of children with pacemakers with that of healthy children, and examines associations between HRQOL and social support. Twenty-seven pediatric pacemaker recipients completed measures of HRQOL and social support. Their parents also completed measures of child HRQOL. High concordance was found for child and parent-proxy reports of child HRQOL. Children with pacemakers and their parents both reported relatively low child HRQOL when compared to published normative data for healthy children and parents of healthy children. Family and friends emerged as the sources of support positively associated with the greatest number of HRQOL domains. In conclusion, these findings suggest that pediatric pacemaker recipients experience lower levels of HRQOL compared to healthy peers, and that social support from those closest to the child is associated with their perceived HRQOL.


Pacemaker Internal cardiac device Quality of life Social support Pediatrics 


Conflict of interest

Patricia Cheng, Ana M. Gutierrez-Colina, Kristin A. Loiselle, Margaret Strieper, Patrick Frias, Kevin Gooden, and Ronald L. Blount declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


This study was funded by support from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Cardiac Research Group.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Cheng
    • 1
  • Ana M. Gutierrez-Colina
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kristin A. Loiselle
    • 2
  • Margaret Strieper
    • 3
    • 4
  • Patrick Frias
    • 3
    • 4
  • Kevin Gooden
    • 3
  • Ronald L. Blount
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.Sibley Heart Center CardiologyChildren’s Healthcare of AtlantaAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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