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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2006 Aug;12(8):380-9.

Characteristics and views of family carers of older people with heart failure.

Author information

  • 1Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing, University of Sheffield. S.barnes@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

AIMS:

to explore the characteristics and views of the family carers of older people with heart failure.

METHOD:

213 family carers of heart failure patients >60 years were recruited from UK general practitioner (GP) practices. Carer strain, quality of life (QOL) and service satisfaction questionnaires were completed every 3 months for 2 years, as well as 16 interviews with patients and carers, and 9 focus groups with health care professionals.

RESULTS:

76% of carers were female, 70% were >60 years and 73% were spousal carers. Predictors of carer strain were symptoms of depression, age and patient NYHA. Predictors of lower QOL were: spousal carer; 2+ health conditions and symptoms of depression. Qualitative findings related to the change in circumstances, impact of responsibilities and health conditions of the family carers.

CONCLUSION:

carers were mainly older women, often experiencing multiple health conditions. Addressing the practical and emotional support required presents a challenge for specialist palliative care in responding to calls for increased involvement in heart failure. A shared care model with liaison between specialist heart failure nurses, cardiologists, primary care teams and hospice services is advocated.

PMID:
17077796
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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