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Dinsdag 20 september 2022

The PhD of Corina Thomet

Corina Thomet works as an advanced practice nurse at the centre for congenital heart disease at the University Hospital of Bern in Switzerland and is part-time PhD student at KU Leuven, under the supervision of Prof. Philip Moons from KU Leuven and Prof. Markus Schwerzmann from the University Hospital Bern.

As an adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) nurse and transition coordinator, she is responsible for the transition programme for adolescents with congenital heart disease between the age of 14 and 25. In this role, she offers education, counselling and guiding to youths and their parents, including the transfer from paediatrics to adult cardiology. Nowadays over 90% of these children reach adulthood. Despite the incredible improvement in medical treatment, only few patients can be considered cured and need lifelong cardiac follow-up.

As part of her work, she was able to collaborate increasingly in research projects. She supervised a Master's thesis on the evaluation of her consultation service and is involved in the research project “APPROACH-IS I & II”, coordinated by KU Leuven. This awakened her desire to combine research and practice in the future and she decided to start a PhD in biomedical sciences at KU Leuven.

Corina’s PhD-project is entitled “Quality measures in transitional care for adolescents and young adults with congenital heart disease”. The project is divided in 3 objectives.

The first objective covers the identification of ACHD centres in Europe to assess to what extent European ACHD centres follow the latest guidelines on organisation of care with regard to staff, infrastructure and activities. A cross-sectional study was conducted and 96 ACHD centres participated in this study. The results were published in the International Journal of Cardiology in 2019.

Objective two targets the identification of practices of transfer and transition care in ACHD centres in Europe. The previous conducted cross-sectional study included information on transfer and transition practice in the 96 ACHD centres that was analysed to provide an overview of transitional care for patients with CHD, including a recommended assessment of key elements. Of the 96 ACHD centres, 85 offer a structured transfer and 40 a formalized transition programme. The results have been published in the International Journal of Cardiology in 2021. Furthermore, we developed a consensus document with focus on practice and issues for transfer and transition of adolescents with CHD, with the aim to present elements of transition that can be incorporated in ACHD centres independent of a countries health care system. The consensus paper has been published in the European Heart Journal in 2021.

Objective three is currently under construction and will focus on the development of quality indicators for transition. 


Thomet, C., Moons, P., Budts, W., De Backer, J., Chessa, M., Diller, G., Eicken, A., Gabriel, H., Gallego, P., Giamberti, A., Roos-Hesselink, J., Swan, L., Webb, G., Schwerzmann, M., & E. S. C. Working Group on Grown-up Congenital Heart Disease. (2019). Staffing, activities, and infrastructure in 96 specialised adult congenital heart disease clinics in Europe. International Journal of Cardiology, 292, 100-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.04.077

Thomet, C., Schwerzmann, M., Budts, W., De Backer, J., Chessa, M., Diller, G., Eicken, A., Gabriel, H., Gallego, P., Giamberti, A., Roos-Hesselink, J., Swan, L., Webb, G., & Moons, P. (2021). Transfer and transition practices in 96 European adult congenital heart disease centres. International Journal of Cardiology, 328, 89-95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2020.11.031

Moons, P., Bratt, E. L., De Backer, J., Goossens, E., Hornung, T., Tut

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