Qualitative study of challenges of caring for a person with heart failure


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Abstract

HIGHLIGHTSCaring for a person with heart failure (PHF) is highly stressful and challenging; our study qualitatively examines the challenges of caring for a PHF.Caregivers experience challenges related to the PHFs health, mood, or personality.Age-related decline in memory and cognition are common challenges of caring for a PHF.Balancing caregiving with other aspects of life, such as employment, is particularly difficult for caregivers.Heart failure (HF) is a chronic health condition that causes significant morbidity among older adults, many of whom receive support and care from an informal caregiver. Caregiving is a difficult role with many responsibilities and challenges. An in-depth understanding of these challenges is necessary to develop services, resources, and interventions for HF caregivers. The goal of this study was to qualitatively ascertain the most significant challenges facing HF caregivers. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 caregivers of a person with HF (PHF). Content analysis revealed challenges rooted within the PHF (negative affect, resistant behavior, independence, and illness) Caregiver (balancing employment, lack of support, time, and caregiver health) and Relational level (PHF/caregiver dyadic relationship and other relationships). These findings can be used to inform interventions and support services for HF caregivers.

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