Aims and objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the self-concept of school-aged children with congenital heart disease to those of normal school-aged children. The primary objective was to analyse results of the Self-Concept Scale questionnaire administered to children with congenital heart disease aged 9-12 years. Sixty-four children with congenital heart disease (study group), and 71 without congenital heart disease (control group), completed the questionnaire. Background. Little attention has focused on school-aged children with congenital heart disease who are in the important stages of developing self-concept. Results. The mean score on the Physical self-concept of the Self-Concept Scale was significantly lower for the study group than the control group (P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed between children with congenital heart disease and normal children in terms of family self-concept, school self-concept, appearance self-concept, emotional self-concept and general self-concept for the Self-Concept Scale. Conclusions. Nurses should use the study findings to encourage positive self-concept development and improve their patient education about physical activity before the child is discharged. Thus, children with congenital heart disease could leave the hospital with a clear understanding of their body and condition, and how it affects daily life. Relevance to clinical practice. The results of this study may provide more holistic views on self-concept for clinical nurses working with children who have congenital heart disease and their families and for school nurses working with elementary school children.
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