OBJECTIVE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents of infants having medical problem face challenges of insufficient medical resources at home . The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of WeChat-based telehealth services on the preoperative follow-up of infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) during the COVID-19 pandemic .
METHODS: This study retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 190 infants with CHD who underwent remote follow-up via WeChat from December 2019 to May 2020 in Fujian Maternity and Child Health Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University . In addition, the psychological benefits of WeChat on the parents of these infants were analyzed .
RESULTS: In total , 190 infants were involved in this study, including 72 cases of ventricular septal defects , 42 cases of patent ductus arteriosus , 55 cases of atrial septal defects , 3 cases of tetralogy of Fallot , 2 cases of endocardial cushion defects , 12 cases of pulmonary stenosis , 2 cases of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection and 2 cases of aortic arch constriction . During the follow-up period , 48 infants who received surgical indications were hospitalized in time for surgical treatment . It was recommended that 10 infants with respiratory tract infections be treated in local hospitals through the WeChat platform . We provided feeding guidance to 28 infants with dysplasia through the WeChat platform . The psychological evaluation results of parents showed that the median score and range of Self-Rating Depression Scale scores were 42 and 32-58, respectively . Nine parents (4.7 %) were clinically depressed, while the majority had mild depression . The median score and range of Self-Rating Anxiety Scale scores were 44 and 31-59, respectively . Twenty parents (10.5 %) had clinical anxiety, while the rest had mild anxiety .
CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, follow-up management and health services for infants with CHD prior to surgery through the WeChat platform were useful in identifying the state of an infant's condition as well as in identifying and relieving care pressure, anxiety and depression in the parents.