Effect of a multidisciplinary supportive program for family caregivers of patients with heart failure on caregiver burden, quality of life, and depression: A randomized controlled study.

International journal of nursing studies

PubMedID: 27423791

Hu X, Dolansky MA, Su Y, Hu X, Qu M, Zhou L. Effect of a multidisciplinary supportive program for family caregivers of patients with heart failure on caregiver burden, quality of life, and depression: A randomized controlled study. Int J Nurs Stud. 2016;6211-21.
BACKGROUND
Caregivers of patients with heart failure experience burden and negative health outcomes. Adequate support for family caregivers improves their well-being and the quality of care provided to the patients. However, little is known about the benefits of interventions for caregivers of patients with heart failure in China.

OBJECTIVES
To test the effects of a multidisciplinary supportive program for family caregivers on caregiver burden, quality of life, and depression.

DESIGN
A randomized controlled design with repeated measures was used in this study.

METHODS
A total of 118 participants were randomized into experimental (n=59) and control groups (n=59) from May to December 2014 in one hospital in Chengdu, People's Republic of China. Participants in the experimental group received a 3-month multidisciplinary supportive program, consisting of three 60-min sessions of group classes, three 30-min peer support groups, and regular telephone follow-ups and consultations, while participants in the control group received usual care only. Outcomes were caregiver burden, quality of life, and depression. Data were collected at baseline, post-test (3 months after discharge), and 3 months after post-test (6 months after discharge). The repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine the effects of groups, changes over time, and time-group interaction on outcome variables.

RESULTS
There were significant improvements in caregiver burden, mental health, and depression after post-test and 3 months after post-test in the experimental group. However, there was no significant improvement in caregivers' physical health at either 3 or 6 months following discharge.

CONCLUSIONS
A multidisciplinary supportive program for caregivers of heart failure patients had positive effects and provides a unique perspective of an intervention considering Chinese culture and customs.