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

Sarah Barnes, Merryn Gott, Sheila Payne, Chris Parker, David Seamark, Salah Gariballa, Neil Small

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-389
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of palliative nursing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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