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Characteristics and views of family carers in older people with heart failure.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Sarah Barnes
  • Merryn Gott
  • Sheila Payne
  • Chris Parker
  • David Seamark
  • Salah Gariballa
  • Neil A. Small
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>25/08/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number8
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)380-389
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Aims: To explore the characteristics and views of the family carers of older people with heart failure. Method: 213 family carers of heart failure patients >60 years were recruited from UK general practitioner (GP) practices. Carer strain, quality of life (QOL) and service satisfaction questionnaires were completed every 3 months for 2 years, as well as 16 interviews with patients and carers, and 9 focus groups with health care professionals. Results: 76% of carers were female, 70% were >60 years and 73% were spousal carers. Predictors of carer strain were symptoms of depression, age and patient NYHA. Predictors of lower QOL were: spousal carer; 2+ health conditions and symptoms of depression. Qualitative findings related to the change in circumstances, impact of responsibilities and health conditions of the family carers. Conclusion: Carers were mainly older women, often experiencing multiple health conditions. Addressing the practical and emotional support required presents a challenge for specialist palliative care in responding to calls for increased involvement in heart failure. A shared care model with liaison between specialist heart failure nurses, cardiologists, primary care teams and hospice services is advocated.