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Caregivers of Patients with Heart Failure: Burden and the Determinants of Health-Related Quality of Life

Purpose: To assess the burden among caregivers of patients with heart failure (HF) with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤ 60%. The burden by New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class was also characterized. Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK from June to November 2019. Patient record forms were completed by 257 cardiologists and 158 general practitioners for consecutive HF patients. Caregivers who accompanied the patient to their consultation completed a caregiver self-completion survey voluntarily, which included the Family Caregiver Quality of Life Questionnaire (FAMQOL) and 5-level 5-dimension EuroQol questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L). Results: We analyzed 361 caregivers of patients with HF (NYHA class I, n=41; II, n=212; III IV, n=108). Mean age of caregivers was 58.8 years (NYHA I/II/III–IV: 59.1/60.8/54.6 years; p=0.0029), with majority being females (73.1%). Caregivers spent on average 19.8 hours/week caring for a HF patient, which increased with increase in NYHA class (I/II/III–IV: 11.8/18.1/25.9 hours/week; p=0.0094). Caregivers (24.1%) reported providing emotional support/encouragement to patients as the most troublesome/inconvenient caregiving activity (no significant difference across NYHA class). Nearly one-third of caregivers experienced stress (NYHA I/II/III–IV: 17.1%/28.8%/40.7%; p=0.0111) and anxiety (26.8%/24.1%/39.8%; p=0.0127) due to caregiving burden. The overall FAMQOL mean score decreased significantly (poorer QoL) with increase in NYHA class (I/II/III–IV: 58.1/56.3/52.2; p=0.0069). A trend of decreasing scores with increasing NYHA class was observed across physical, emotional, and social domains (each p≤ 0.012). Conclusion: Caregivers of HF patients with LVEF ≤ 60% experienced a significant burden, which was higher among caregivers of patients with more severe and symptomatic disease.

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Patient Preference And Adherence
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