The CHT Team attends the AEPC Congenital conference in Milan

AEPC is the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology founded in 1963.

Recently, Cathy Dalton, Family Support Manager and Joan Aiken, Research and Policy Manager, were invited to attend the Biennial meeting of the AEPC Working Group on Neurodevelopmental and Psychosocial Care from fetus to adult, in Milan. The conference took place at the IRCCS Policlinio San Donato Hospital from 15-17 March 2024. There were 58 international presentations over the three days.

Cathy and Joan, along with Dr Scott Kendall from BHSCT, presented findings from their research study into residential camps for teenagers with CHD and subsequent improvements to mental health. They were delighted to report campers showed positive changes across depression, anxiety and stress scales following participation. The presentation was awarded 3rd place in the Young Researchers Award.

Preliminary findings from the Congenital Heart disease Intervention Programme, wave 3 (CHIP-III), which Joan has been heavily involved in for the last few years, were also presented. Early results show promising evidence for the long-term benefits of early family focused interventions on the neuropsychological and psychosocial development of young adults with CHD.

Further, a number of PhD researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, who investigate psychosocial aspects of CHD, outlined their studies to the delegation. Children’s Heartbeat Trust supports each of these PhDs.

The conference was a wonderful opportunity for Joan and Cathy to showcase the impact of Children’s Heartbeat Trust’s work, further deepen their individual understanding of CHD, and make valuable connections with organisations from other countries supporting CHD patients.

CHT Team ❤️