Positive Experiences and Self-Gain among Family Caregivers of Persons with Heart Failure

Lauren R. Bangerter, Joan M. Griffin, Shannon M. Dunlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background The majority of aging adults with heart failure (HF) receive support from a family caregiver. Most literature has emphasized the stressors and burden of caregiving, with less focus on positive self-gains associated with caregiving. Methods and Results Using an explanatory sequential design, we assessed self-gain by administering a survey to caregivers of a person with HF (n = 108) and then conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with a subset (n = 16) of these caregivers. Quantitative results indicate spousal caregivers, and caregivers with higher preparedness and higher mastery had greater odds of reporting high self-gain. Content analysis of qualitative data revealed 3 themes of self-gain including (i) caregiving as a means to enhancing relationships, (ii) success in negotiating care and healthy behaviors with people with HF, and (iii) caregiving as a means of preparing caregivers for the future. Conclusions HF caregivers experience a range of positive self-gains and the ability to find meaning in the stressful caregiving role. Caregivers' ability to garner intrinsic gains from their role can have important benefits well after caregiving has ended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e433-e440
JournalGerontologist
Volume59
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 2019

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Keywords

  • Analysis-mixed methods
  • Caregiving-informal
  • Heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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