An integrated review of interventions to improve psychological outcomes in caregivers of patients with heart failure

Lorraine S. Evangelista, Anna Strömberg, J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose of review This article examines interventions aimed at improving psychological outcomes (e.g., caregiver burden, quality of life, anxiety, depression, perceived control, stress mastery, caregiver confidence and preparedness, and caregiver mastery) in family caregivers of patients with heart failure. Recent findings Eight studies meeting the inclusion criteria were included in the review. The most common intervention involved psychoeducation facilitated by a nurse (6/8) and supplemented with a combination of follow-up face-to-face sessions (2/6), home visits (2/6), telephone calls (3/6), and telemonitoring (3/6). Two studies used a support group intervention of four to six sessions. Half of the interventions reported a significant effect on one or more primary outcomes, including caregiver burden (n=4), depressive symptoms (n=1), stress mastery (n=1), caregiver confidence and preparedness (n=1), and caregiver mastery (n=1). Summary Compared with dementia and cancer family caregiving, few interventions have been evaluated in caregivers of patients with heart failure. Of the existing interventions identified in this review, considerable variability was observed in aims, intervention content, delivery methods, duration, intensity, methodological rigor, outcomes, and effects. Given this current state of the science, direct comparison of heart failure caregiver interventions and recommendations for clinical practice are premature. Thus, research priority is strongly warranted for intervention development and testing to enhance heart failure caregiver support and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • caregiver
  • caregiver burden
  • heart failure
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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