A process of decision making by caregivers of family members with heart failure

Res Theory Nurs Pract. 2011;25(1):55-70.


Heart failure (HF) is a major cardiovascular problem and the number of people living with HF continues to climb. Throughout the illness continuum, patients and their family caregivers are involved in decision making. As the illness worsens and patients can no longer make decisions, decision making becomes the responsibility of their caregivers who may have little preparation for the role. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to examine how caregivers of family members with HF make decisions. A nonlinear decision-making process consisting of several actions was identified, which included actualizing; seeking input, information, or support; reflecting; choosing; evaluating; and validating the decision.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Heart Failure / nursing*
  • Humans