To compare participants' self-competence levels to normative data and examine self-competence as a potential protective factor against poorer health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and psychosocial adjustment in children with pacemakers.
Twenty-seven children between the ages of 8 and 18 years and their caregivers were recruited from a pediatric pacemaker clinic. Participants completed self-report and parent-proxy measures of children's health-related quality of life (HRQOL), self-competence, and psychosocial functioning, which included externalizing and internalizing symptoms, adaptive skills, and behavioral symptoms.
Participants reported significantly lower levels of self-competence compared to healthy norms. Self-competence was significantly and positively correlated with most HRQOL domains. Few significant correlations emerged between self-competence and various domains of psychosocial functioning.
Self-competence may function as a protective factor against lower HRQOL in children with pacemakers. There was less evidence that self-competence may play a protective role against lower adaptive skills and higher externalizing, internalizing, and behavioral symptoms. Clinical implications of these findings, limitations of the study, and areas for future research are discussed.