Abstract 15667: Physical Activity, Fitness, Motor Skill and Activity Beliefs of Children with Simple and Complex Heart Defects
Children with congenital heart disease have sedentary lifestyles, which pose a risk to heart health. Our study evaluated daily physical activity, health-related fitness, gross motor skill and activity attitudes. Participants were 136 children, 6 to 12 years, from four diagnostic groups: a) simple defect (device closure of ASD; 13M,15F), b) complex defect/immediate repair (arterial switch for TGA; 28M, 11F), c) complex defect/residual sequelae (tetralogy of Fallot repair; 20M, 20F), and d) palliated complex defect (Fontan for univentricular heart; 14M, 15F). Daily physical activity was assessed via accelerometer. The Canadian Health Measures Survey, Test of Gross Motor Development- 2 and Children's Self-perception of Adequacy and the Predilection for Physical Activity Scale were administered to assess fitness, motor skill and activity beliefs. Mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) per week were 366 ± 205 (range 95 to 1531), with activity increasing by 3.3 ± 0.7 minutes for each percentile increase in motor skill (p<.001). MVPA differed by diagnosis but not age, gender or fitness. MVPA was lower after Fontan (330 ± 116 mins, range 187 to 597) or tetralogy (318 ± 149 mins, range 95 to 745) than after arterial switch (435 ± 196 mins, range 196 to 950) or atrial septal defect (425 ± 303 mins, range 121 to 1531). Gross motor percentiles were also lower after Fontan (-21.2 ± 7.7, p=.01) and tetralogy repair (-14.9 ± 7.3, p=.04). Predilection toward activity was higher for the Fontan group (1.6 ± 2.3, p=.02). These results suggest a strong association between activity and motor skill, regardless of diagnosis. Motor skill delay occurs more frequently with complex defects not immediately repaired. Children with simple defects or complex defects/immediate repair achieve the recommended 60 minutes MVPA per day. Children after tetralogy repair or Fontan perform 100 fewer minutes of MVPA per week, 75% to 79% of recommended. Further research is required to investigate the suitability of motor skill assessment for identifying patients at risk for sedentary lifestyles. Rehabilitation programs to develop age-appropriate motor skills may be necessary for children with complex heart defects to achieve recommended levels of daily physical activity.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.