Family caregiver outcomes in heart failure

Susan J. Pressler, Irmina Gradus-Pizlo, Suzanne D. Chubinski, George Smith, Susanne Wheeler, Jingwei Wu, Rebecca Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations


Background: Family caregivers of patients with heart failure report high stress, burden, and poor emotional and physical health, but less is known about predictors of health among these caregivers. Objectives: To determine predictors of family caregiving out-comes among caregivers of patients with heart failure and to identify the tasks reported as most difficult and the most negative outcomes. Methods: A total of 63 patients with heart failure and their 63 family caregivers were enrolled in this prospective study. Data were collected from medical records and from interviews conducted at baseline and 4 and 8 months later. Results: Caregivers reported moderately poor physical and emotional health-related quality of life. Those with more depressive symptoms at baseline were more likely to report their lives had changed for the worse at 4 months (P = .03). The caregivers' medical health condition (P< .001) and perceived difficulty of caregiving tasks (P = .04) were predictors of physical health-related quality of life at 4 months; at 8 months, medical health condition was the only predictor (P = .004). At 4 and 8 months, depressive symptoms were predictors of emotional health-related quality of life (P < .001 and P =.001, respectively). The most difficult caregiving tasks were those dealing with patients' behavior problems; the most negative outcome was having less time for activities with friends. Conclusions: Studies are needed in larger samples to identify needs of vulnerable populations of caregivers of patients with heart failure and to develop and test interventions for improving caregivers' outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care

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    Pressler, S. J., Gradus-Pizlo, I., Chubinski, S. D., Smith, G., Wheeler, S., Wu, J., & Sloan, R. (2009). Family caregiver outcomes in heart failure. American Journal of Critical Care, 18(2), 149-159.