Everything They Were Discussing, We Were Already Doing: Hospice Heart Failure Caregivers Reflect on a Palliative Caregiving Intervention

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caregivers, intervention, palliative care, qualitative

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There is little to no evidence concerning the efficacy of heart failure caregiver interventions in hospice populations. The objective of this study was to examine heart failure caregivers’ responses to a hospice caregiving intervention and elicit recommendations for future interventions. A qualitative descriptive design was used with a one-time semistructured interview conducted within 2 weeks of completing the intervention. The interview began with general questions related to the helpfulness of the intervention and continued with probes regarding the particular parts of the intervention used to explore more deeply the caregivers’ perceptions. Analysis involved constant comparison of the interview transcriptions according to established approaches with codes generated through a line-by-line reading of the interviews by two investigators. A sample (n = 7) made up of spouses, adult children, and sibling caregivers responded to the intervention based on their length of caregiving (with early caregivers embracing the intervention, experienced caregivers ignoring it) and experience with hospice. They were able to give detailed feedback and make recommendations for future studies—targeting less experienced caregivers, discussing multimorbid symptom management, and streamlining the information and contact with help. Heart failure caregivers recommend providing interventions earlier (or upstream) in the disease trajectory.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, v. 15, issue 4, p. 218-224