• Heart failure caregiver depressive symptoms predict caregiver quality of life. • Family functioning predict heart failure caregiver quality of life. • Depressive symptoms are a mediator between family functioning and quality of life. Caregivers of patients with heart failure (HF) report depressive symptoms and poor quality of life (QOL) related to caregiving and poor family functioning, placing them at risk for poor health.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of depressive symptoms on the relationship between family functioning and quality of life in the HF caregiver. A sample of 92 HF caregivers were enrolled from an ambulatory clinic at a large academic medical center. A mediation analysis was used to analyze data obtained from the Family Assessment Device (FAD), the Patient Health Questionaire-9 (PHQ-9), and the Short Form-12 Health Survey Version 2 (SF-12v2). Depressive symptoms were found to be a significant mediator in the relationship between family functioning and caregiver quality of life. The results of this study suggest that interventions targeting caregiver depression and family functioning could be effective in enhancing HF caregivers' physical and mental QOL.