Parental preferences for primary and specialty care collaboration in the management of teenagers with congenital heart disease

Marlene R. Miller, Christopher B. Forrest, Jean S. Kan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined parental preferences for locus of service delivery for their teenager's congenital heart disease (CHD) and the influence of disease severity, sociodemographic factors, and insurance on these preferences. Methods. A consecutive sample of parents of teenagers followed in a pediatric cardiology clinic completed a mailed questionnaire. Disease severity was classified as low (≤1 cardiovascular procedure), moderate (>1 cardiovascular procedure), and high (cyanosis or single ventricle physiology). Results. Eighty-six of 148 parents responded (58%): 40, low severity; 36, moderate severity; and 10, high severity of illness. Parents preferred using primary care providers (PCPs) as a point of first contact for all 11 of 11 general health concerns and 5 of 7 potential cardiovascular-related concerns: chest pain (52%), syncope (73%), seeming seriously ill (79%), sports physical examination (79%), and endocarditis prophylactic antibiotics (94%). Increasing disease severity was significantly associated with preferring cardiologists for 6 of 7 cardiovascular-related concerns. Overall, 58% of parents viewed their care as a PCP- cardiologist comanagement model versus a cardiologist-dominated model. Lower family income (odds ratio [OR]: 1.5; confidence interval [CI]: 1.0-2.2) and severity of illness (OR: 2.1; CI: 1.0-4.4.) were associated with a comanagement model of health care versus a cardiologist-dominated model. Conclusions. This study suggests that the majority of parents of teenagers with CHD prefer to use their teenager's PCP for all routine health care needs and many cardiovascular health needs. Severity of illness and family income are positively associated with greater preference for cardiologist care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-269
Number of pages6
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - 2000


  • Chronic disease
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Patient care management
  • Primary health care
  • Specialist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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