22q11 deletion syndrome : parents' and children's experiences of educational and healthcare provision in the UK

Cohen, Wendy and McCartney, Elspeth and Crampin, Lisa (2017) 22q11 deletion syndrome : parents' and children's experiences of educational and healthcare provision in the UK. Journal of Child Health Care. ISSN 1741-2889

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    Abstract

    Objective: 22q11DS is a genetic syndrome, prevalence around 1:4000-1:6000 livebirths, with a complex array of associated features, impacting on healthcare and educational support. This study reports the perceptions of families and individuals with 22q11DS in relation to these needs. Design: Individuals and families of those with 22q11DS were approached though two national charities – the Max Appeal and 22Crew. An initial observational survey design was used to gather views via questions probing access to healthcare and educational experiences. Results: 34 responses were received and the data subjected to descriptive analysis. Over half of respondents were diagnosed before the age of 1. 91% reported ongoing difficulties with learning at school, compounded by school attendance being compromised as a result of medical interventions. Individuals reported engaging heavily with educational support and a high number of health professions (mean 9.5; mode 10). Conclusions: Age of diagnosis of 22q11Ds ranged from birth to 9 years. Families had ongoing concerns about aspects of education and healthcare services, and lack of knowledge and awareness of the difficulties faced by individuals with 22q11DS was raised. Healthcare and education providers should be aware of the range of services individuals required on a regular basis so as to provide a more holistic approach to care.