Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Risk Factors for Gross Motor Dysfunction in Infants With Congenital Heart Disease

Long, Suzanne H. B(Physio), PhD; Eldridge, Bev J. BAppSci(Physio), PhD; Galea, Mary P. BAppSci(Physio), PhD; Harris, Susan R. PT, PhD

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3182176274
Original Study

Infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) that is severe enough to require early surgery are at risk for cognitive and motor delays, as well as musculoskeletal impairments, and are best managed by an interdisciplinary team during their hospital stay and after discharge. The purpose of this article is to review some of the risk factors associated specifically with motor delays and musculoskeletal impairments in infants with CHD. These concerns are then embedded into 2 clinical case examples of infants with CHD who required surgery. Following a description of each infant's hospital course, we describe the members and roles of an appropriate early intervention team. Then, in conjunction with the parents' priorities and concerns, and the results of developmental motor assessments, we develop individualized physical therapy outcomes, in keeping with an Individualized Family Service Plan. The role and importance of an interdisciplinary team perspective is highlighted in these case examples, as is the transactional model of development.

The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia (Drs Long and Galea); The Royal Children's Hospital, Victoria, Australia (Dr Eldridge); and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver British Columbia, Canada (Dr Harris).

Correspondence: Susan R. Harris, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, 212–2177 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada (

The literature review for this article arose from Dr Long's PhD thesis, completed in 2010 at the School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. Dr Long received a Trust Fund Scholarship from the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences for the duration of her studies in 2009.

©2011Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.