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Heart failure caregivers' support services: Implications for palliative care

Palliative care initiatives strive to control symptoms and improve the quality of care for individuals with heart failure (HF) and their informal caregivers. Yet, caregiving is stressful for many caregivers and requires a delicate balancing act between providing quality care and maintaining other responsibilities. Support services are a crucial component of palliative care. Yet, little is known regarding what support services HF caregivers need to assist with caregiving duties. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify support services informal caregivers perceive would be useful in caring for individuals with heart failure in the home. This secondary analysis was part of a cross-sectional, descriptive, exploratory study which included 530 heart failure caregivers, using an online self-report instrument. Content and quantitative data analyses were conducted. Caregivers were primarily Caucasian (n = 415; 78.3%) male (n = 270; 50.9% male), with an average age of 41.4 (±10.4) years. Individuals with heart failure were mostly male (n = 297; 56.0%), age 54.3 (± 14.8) years of age and had New York Heart Association Class I-II heart failure (n = 375; 70.7%). Needed support services identified by caregivers related to cost effective heart failure support, caregiver information/education/training, and caregiver support. These services had two or more components. Caregivers of individuals with heart failure experience complex problems in the home that require important services to enhance palliative care. Exploring ways to provide these important support services will assist in the development of interventions to reduce negative outcomes and enhance heart failure palliative care. 

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Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Taylor & Francis
Publication Year
Issue Number
Journal Titles
Progress in Palliative Care
Volume Number
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End Page