Purpose of review: To summarize the latest research on the risks and consequences of the burden that may be imposed on informal carers of persons living and dying with advanced heart failure.
Recent findings: A systematic search in PubMed over the period 2013?2014 ultimately revealed 24 original articles included in this review. From this research update it can be concluded that the body of knowledge increased with more studies focusing on caregivers of patients with advanced heart failure.
Summary: Caregivers are important partners in care and their lives are seriously affected by the condition of advanced heart failure. Studies on the longitudinal effects of the caregiving role on caregiver's quality of life and on caregiver contributions to patient outcomes is still scarce. Focus of current research is moving towards relationship aspects. Dyadic-care typologies and the concept of incongruence within dyads in terms of conflicting perspectives on how to manage the heart failure are new and important concepts presented in studies presented in this review. Heart failure patients and their caregivers still lack sufficient palliative care and communication on prognosis and end-of-life care. More research is needed to determine the optimal time to start palliative interventions to support caregivers of patients with advanced heart failure.