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The influence of chronic heart failure in patient-partner dyads: a comparative study addressing issues of health-related quality of life
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
School of Nursing University of California Los Angeles USA.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Health Technology Assessment. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart Centre, Department of Cardiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4259-3671
2011 (English)In: Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, ISSN 0889-4655, E-ISSN 1550-5049, Vol. 26, no 1, 65-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Patients with chronic heart failure (HF) and their partners face many challenges associated with heart disease. High social support in a close relationship has been found to improve survival in patients with HF. However, caring for a patient with HF may have negative effects on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of the partner responsible for the care. The main focus in health care is still on improving the patients’ HRQOL, but the awareness of partners’ and families’ role and situation is increasing. Therefore further studies are needed to clarify these issues and the importance of partners in relation to HRQOL of patients with HF.

Objectives: To describe and compare HRQOL, quality-adjusted life year (QALY) weights, symptoms of depression, perceived control and knowledge in patients with chronic HF and their partners and to compare HRQOL and QALY weights in the partners with an age- and gender-matched group.

Methods: Data was collected from 135 patient-partner dyads at two Swedish hospitals. Data on the reference group was collected from the same region.

Results: Patients had lower HRQOL in all dimensions (p < 0.001) except in the mental health domain and lower QALY weights compared to their partners (p < 0.001). Mental health scores were lower in partners compared to the age and gender-matched references (p < 0.001). All other HRQOL scores and the QALY weights were comparable between partners and reference group. Patients had more depressive symptoms than their partners (p < 0.001). There was no difference in the level of perceived control or knowledge about chronic HF between patients and partners.

Conclusion: Being a partner to a patient with chronic HF markedly affects the mental aspect of HRQOL. Interventions focusing on education and psychosocial support may potentially promote effective coping in partners and enhance their ability to support the patient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aspen Publishers , 2011. Vol. 26, no 1, 65-73 p.
Keyword [en]
Heart failure, partner, health-related quality of life, quality-adjusted life year, knowledge
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56228DOI: 10.1097/JCN.0b013e3181ec0281ISI: 000285138300015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-56228DiVA: diva2:317248
Available from: 2010-05-03 Created: 2010-05-03 Last updated: 2017-12-12
In thesis
1. Supportive care for patients with heart failure and their partners: A descriptive and interventional study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supportive care for patients with heart failure and their partners: A descriptive and interventional study
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Having the support of a partner is essential for both health related quality of life and survival in heart failure patients. However, caring for a patient with heart failure may affect the health related quality of life, well‐being and cause a burden for the partner. The partner is expected to be responsible for the care, which may have consequences for the heart failure patient’s long‐term health and well‐being. Further research to determine health related quality of life, well‐being, caregiver burden and needs of partners is warranted as well as studies evaluating interventions targeting patient‐partner dyads.

Aim: The overall aim was to describe how the life situation of patient‐partner dyads was influenced by heart failure and to determine the effects of an intervention of follow‐up with education and psychosocial support for patient‐partner dyads.

Design and methods: The thesis is based on three quantitative studies and one qualitative study. The first two studies were descriptive and included 135 dyads (patient‐partner) (I, II) and the randomised intervention study included a total of 155 dyads (IV). The qualitative study had a grounded theory approach. Thirteen partners were interviewed and data analysed using constant comparative method (III).

Results: Caregiver burden was perceived as moderate in 30% of the partners and the rest experienced a low caregiver burden. The patients’ physical component score of SF‐36, partners’ mental component score of SF‐36 and perceived control explained 39% of the caregiver burden (I). Patients had lower health related quality of life compared to their partners in all dimensions except in the mental health domain of SF‐36 and lower qualityadjusted life year weights compared to their partners. Mental health scores were lower in partners compared to age and gender‐matched references. All other health related quality of life scores and the quality‐adjusted life year weights were comparable between the partners and the reference group. Patients had more depressive symptoms than their partners. There was no difference in the level of perceived control or knowledge about chronic heart failure between patients and partners (II). During grounded theory analysis confirmation was identified as describing the core category of the partners’ individual needs. The core category theoretically binds together three underlying subcategories: security, rest for mind and body, and inner strength. Confirmation facilitated acceptance and improvement of mental and physical health among partners (III). At the three month follow‐up the dyad‐intervention had improved perceived control in patients, but not in the partners. There were no other significant differences in the control and intervention group with regard to the dyads’ health related quality of life and symptoms of depression. There were also no differences in the patients’ self‐care behaviour and partners’ experiences of caregiver burden (IV).

Conclusions and implications: Partners to patients with chronic heart failure are at risk of decreased mental well‐being. One third of the partners experienced a moderate caregiver burden and was therefore at a higher risk of poor mental health and decreased perceived control. During short‐term follow‐up the intervention with education and psychosocial support to dyads (patient‐partner) improved the level of perceived control in the chronic heart failure patient group. By identifying partnersʹ needs for security, rest for mind and body, and inner strength, healthcare professionals can confirm these needs throughout the caring process, from the critical care period and throughout rehabilitation at home. Interventions targeting dyads have been limited in previous research. Partners need to be prepared regarding the disease process, the daily regimen, hopes for the future and responsible care providers. They also need to be confirmed because they are vital to the patients’ recovery. Further, the effects of the intervention study should also include a long‐term follow‐up as well as an evaluation of the health‐economic perspective including direct and indirect costs of care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2010. 71 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1181
Keyword
Heart failure, cardiac surgery, caregiver burden, intervention, health related quality of life, nursing
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56232 (URN)978-91-7393-406-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-06-03, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-05-03 Created: 2010-05-03 Last updated: 2017-07-07Bibliographically approved

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Ågren, SusannaDavidson, ThomasStrömberg, Anna

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