Congenital heart disease is a commonly occurring birth defect that has significant impact on newborns and their families. Often a newborn’s diagnosis of congenital heart disease is made in utero. Consequently, newborns with this diagnosis often require complex care that includes cardiac surgery and prolonged stays in a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit. Yet, the impact of congenital heart disease not only affects the newborn but extends to the entire family system.

Parents of newborns and infants with congenital heart disease experience antepartum and postpartum stress. There is foundational research that establishes an association between parental stress among mothers and fathers of premature infants and older children in a pediatric intensive care unit. However, there has been minimal investigation into the unique experiences of parents of newborns with congenital heart disease who underwent cardiac surgery.

To address a gap in the literature, the authors conducted a descriptive study to...

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