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Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2014 Jan;19(1):56-63.

Caregiver burden among Iranian heart failure family caregivers: A descriptive, exploratory, qualitative study.

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  • 1Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  • 2Department of Cardiology, Isfahan Hypertension Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



Living with patients of chronic diseases such as heart failure (HF) is a difficult situation for the caregivers. This study explored the Iranian family caregivers' burden of caregiving for patients with HF.


Eighteen family caregivers of the HF patients from two governmental medical training centers in Isfahan, Iran were recruited using purposive sampling. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Each interview was transcribed verbatim and was thematically analyzed concurrently.


FOUR MAJOR THEMES EMERGED FROM THE ANALYSIS OF THE TRANSCRIPTS: Lack of care-related knowledge, physical exhaustion, psychosocial exhaustion, and lack of support. Family caregivers believed that they have little knowledge about the patients' disease, drugs, and how to perform caregiving roles. They experienced negative physical and psychosocial consequences of full-time and highly extended caregiving roles, such as musculoskeletal disorder, fatigue, and sleep disturbance, and a high level of anxiety, stress, and social isolation. Caregivers believed that they receive little familial and organizational support on the emotional and financial dimensions of caregiving.


The findings of this study can be used by healthcare providers, especially nurses, to provide more effective social, informational, and professional support for family caregivers.


Caregiver burden; Iran; family caregiver; heart failure; nursing; qualitative study

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