Abstract 1127: Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Heart Failure Negatively Affect Family Caregiver Outcomes and Quality of Life
Background: Family caregivers’ informal care and support are essential in improving outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF). However, caring for a person with HF can be burdensome and stressful. Depressive symptoms in persons with HF are highly prevalent. Whether caring for patients with depressive symptoms adds more burden or worsen quality of life among family caregivers is unknown.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine differences in caregiver outcomes (i.e. caregiving burden, difficulty and time spent on caregiving, perceptions of life change as a result of caregiving) and quality of life in caregivers of HF patients with and without depressive symptoms.
Method: HF patients completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) to assess depressive symptoms. Caregivers completed the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), the Oberst Caregiving Inventory, the Bakas Cargiving Outcomes Scale, and Medical Outcome Study Short-Form 12, which has physical and mental subscales to measure caregiver outcomes and quality of life. Chi-square and t-test were used to compare caregiving outcomes and quality of life between caregivers of patients with (BDI-II >13) and without depressive symptoms.
Results: Of the 102 HF patient-caregiver dyads, 26.5% of patients had at least mild depressive symptoms and 42% of their caregivers reported severe burden (ZBI score ≥17). Two-thirds of caregivers (62%) reported negative changes in their life due to caregiving while 18 % reported positive changes. Caregivers of patients with depressive symptoms had higher caregiving burden (25±13 vs. 13.5±12; p < .001), spent more time in caregiving (37±12 vs. 30±11; p=.004), and reported worse mental quality of life (46±10 vs. 51±10; p=.026) than caregivers of patients without depressive symptoms. There were no differences in difficulty of caregiving, life changes related to caregiving, and physical component of quality of life between the two caregiver groups.
Conclusion: Caregivers of patients with depressive symptoms experienced more burden and had worse mental quality of life compared to caregivers of patients without depressive symptoms. Improving depressive symptoms of patients with HF may benefit caregivers’ emotional well-being as well as their caregiving burden.