Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Leslie Scott

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Misty Ellis

Committee Member

Dr. Cameron Stephenson



Background and Purpose: Children with complex medical needs, such as children with complex congenital heart disease, are at risk for hospital readmission, morbidity, and mortality related to disease complications. Parents must be adequately prepared to care for their children following hospital discharge to prevent hospital readmission and complications. This study seeks to evaluate the impact of an education intervention on parental knowledge and stress related to caring for their child with complex medical needs.

Methods: The study design is a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent control pre-test/post-test design. The pre-test was administered prior to the educational intervention, with the post-test administered one week following the intervention. The data was analyzed using IBM SPSS software version 28. Parental knowledge was analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The impact of the intervention on parental stress and perceived parental benefit were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: A total of three parents participated in the study. There was no statistically significant difference in the results of the pre and post-test. The study noted a qualitative impact on perceived parental stress and parental benefit.

Conclusions: Assessment of parental knowledge in the complex congenital heart disease population is challenging, but crucial to complete prior to patient discharge. The impacts of a parent education program in this population may be beneficial based on impacts on parental stress and parent verbalization of benefits. Future studies should focus on long-term effects of parent education programs with a larger sample size to accurately determine impact.