PTSD common in parents of kids with severe heart conditions, Stanford study finds

Nearly half of parents with children who have a serious heart condition meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, a Stanford Medicine study found.

The research focused on families whose child or teen received a cardioverter defibrillator, a surgically implanted device that detects dangerously irregular heart rhythms and provides a small shock to correct them.

The study collected questionnaires from parents asking for the number and severity of possible PTSD symptoms. Although the study did not include diagnostic interviews, the questionnaires were consistent with what is seen in the disorder.

The study, published in the medical journal Heart Rhythm, also found that 12 percent of the children and teens with cardioverter defibrillators also had symptoms of PTSD.

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