Abstract 20141: Impact on the Family Caregiver of Depression in Heart Failure Patients
One third of patients (pt) with heart failure (HF) have depressive symptoms (DS) and the outcome consequences of DS in HF pt are well-known. Less is known about the impact on family caregivers of the DS in HF pt. The purpose of our study was to demonstrate the differences in the quality of life of family caregivers of HF pt with or without DS, as demonstrated by the difficulty of caregiving, time spent for caregiving and perception of the caregiving burden. In our prospective transversal study we included 120 HF pt in stable condition, living at home (mean age 67 +/− 13 yrs), recruited from a hospital database. The mean NYHA class was 2.9 and the mean ejection fraction was 36.4%. The presence of DS in HF patients was measured by Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) with a cut-off point of ≥ 14 defining the presence of DS. The caregiver's interview was performed by two independent observers in two different days. The time spent for caregiving and the perception of difficulty of caregiving were measured with the 15 items Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale (OCBS); the perception of the caregiving burden was evaluated with Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) considering a score ≥ 17 as indicating a perception of severe burden. In 85% of pt the caregiver was the spouse. A BDI score ≥ 14 was noticed in 41 % of HF pt. There were no significant differences in the therapy of HF pt with or without DS. Caregivers of HF pt with DS demonstrated higher scores for the caregiving time spent and significantly (p=0.05) higher scores evaluating the difficulty of caregiving. 76% of caregivers in HF pt with DS demonstrated a ZBI score ≥ 17 vs. 31 % in caregivers of HF pt without DS. (p=0.03). The mean ZBI score of caregivers in HF pt with DS was significantly higher than in caregivers of pt without DS. Re-hospitalizations were more frequent in pt in whom caregivers demonstrated a severe caregiving burden.
Conclusions: DS in HF pt have an important impact on time spent for caregiving, difficulty of caregiving and caregiving burden. Recommendations for treating depression in HF should include both patients and caregivers.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.