Informal caregivers of people with heart failure and resilience: A convergent mixed methods study

J Adv Nurs. 2022 Jan;78(1):264-275. doi: 10.1111/jan.15078. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Abstract

Aim: To develop a comprehensive understanding of resilience and its associated factors among informal caregivers of people with heart failure.

Design: Transnational multicentre convergent mixed methods approach.

Methods: This study was conducted in three European countries: Italy, Spain and the Netherlands; during February 2017 and December 2018. In total, 195 caregivers completed the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Caregiver Burden Inventory and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. From a nested sample 50 caregivers participated in semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis, multiple regression and joint displays.

Results: The caregivers' mean age was over 60 years. The quantitative results showed that caregivers experienced anxiety and depression regardless of a good score of resilience and moderate level of burden. Regression analysis showed that the resilience was associated with caregiver depression. From qualitative findings three resilience inhibiting (psychological outlook, physical weariness and affective state) and two promoting factors (community interconnectedness and self-comforting activities) were generated. Mixed analysis confirmed that depression decreased caregivers' resilience.

Conclusions: Caregivers of people with heart failure experience continuous stress and anxiety resulting in reduced resilience. Collaborative efforts are needed to build multifaceted interventions and programs to enhance caregivers' resilience by targeting the factors identified in this study.

Impact: The quality of informal caregiving is affected by the resilience of caregivers. No research has explored the resilience levels and its factors in this population. Depression, psychological outlook, physical weariness and affective state are negative factors of caregivers' resilience. Personal strategies combined with social and community support and belongingness enhance caregivers' resilience. Community care organizations and hospitals could establish alliances to develop programs for enhancing caregivers' resilience.

Keywords: caregiving; chronic illness; community care; family care; heart failure; mixed methods design; nursing home care; qualitative approaches; quality of life; quantitative approaches.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Caregivers*
  • Community Support
  • Heart Failure*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Middle Aged