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It has been demonstrated that the majority of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at an increased risk of motor development problems. Studies identifying the efficacy of exercise therapy are rare in this field. The aims of this study are to identify the efficacy of a home-based exercise program to improve the motor function of children with CHD following interventional cardiac catheterization.
The study was designed as an evaluator-blinded randomized controlled trial. The study was performed at Xin Hua Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China. 21 children with CHD following interventional cardiac catheterization were recruited. Subjects were randomized allocated to either an intervention group (11 patients) or a control group (10 patients). The intervention group carried out home-based exercises, and the control group received education only. Motor quotient was assessed by the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, 2nd Edition as the primary outcomes.
The mean age was 29.1 ± 16.2 months in the control group (7 girls/3 boys) and 24.7 ± 17.4 months in the intervention group (6 girls/5 boys). The mean total motor quotient was 93± 6.3 in the control group and 92.2± 8.3 in the intervention group at baseline. Mean motor quotients in the intervention group improved significantly (92.2 vs 99.6) while that in the control group showed no change(93 vs 89.9).
A home-based exercise program for children with CHD following interventional cardiac catheterization appeared more useful than education in the short-term effect on total motor quotient.