Longitudinal family caregiving experiences in heart failure: Secondary qualitative analysis of interviews

Soyoung Choi, Lisa Kitko, Judith Hupcey, Barbara Birriel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Considering the potential impacts of family caregivers on heart failure management and the costs of healthcare, health professionals need to pay attention to the challenges faced by family caregivers. Objective: This study longitudinally explored the caregiving experiences of family caregivers of persons with heart failure. Methods: Serial interview scripts collected from 53 family caregivers were analyzed using a content analysis method. Results: The following themes emerged: (1) accumulating knowledge and skills for caregiving; (2) losing a sense of control; (3) balancing an unstable life; (4) constructing illness memory; (5) centering the patient in daily life; (6) accepting the loss of a family member; (7) coping with grief by drawing on social support; (8) facing financial responsibility; and (9) rethinking hospice care. Conclusion: Family caregivers experience concern about unpredictable caregiving years, disease's fluctuating symptoms and poor prognosis. More educational opportunities, financial counseling programs, and palliative care consultations should be provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
JournalHeart and Lung
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Caregivers
  • Data analysis
  • Heart failure
  • Patient care
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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