Classifying Heart Failure Caregivers as Adequately or Inadequately Resourced to Care: A Latent Class Analysis

Academic Article


  • Objectives: To identify classes of heart failure (HF) caregivers based upon indicators of coping resources and stress, and then, to examine the relationships between the identified caregiver classes and depression, caregiver burden, and life changes. Methods: Cross-sectional data from 530 HF caregivers were analyzed in this secondary analysis using a three-step latent class mixture model to classify caregivers based on level of resources and examine the relationship between the identified classes and depression, caregiver burden, and life changes. Using an online survey, caregivers reported on social support, problem-solving, family function, depression, caregiver burden, and life changes. Results: Caregivers were 41.39 (± 10.38) years of age, 49.1% women, 78.3% white, 77.6% urban-dwelling, and 61.7% college/postgraduate educated. Three classes of caregivers (42.3% Adequately Resourced, 25.1% At Risk for Decompensation, 32.6% Inadequately Resourced) were identified. Inadequately Resourced caregivers had the lowest levels of social support, problem-solving, and family function and the highest levels of depression and caregiver burden. Caregivers At Risk for Decompensation had the best family function and reported the most positive perceptions of life changes despite low levels of social support and problem-solving. Conclusion: Social support, problem-solving, and family function are modifiable coping resources which may buffer stress and influence stress indicators. Caregivers with few coping resources may experience higher degrees of depression and burden, and less positive perceptions of life changes. More research is needed to examine the influence of these coping resources on caregiver adaptation to facilitate the development of targeted interventions which support caregiver mental health.
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  • Graven LJ; Abbott L; Boel-Studt S; Grant JS; Buck HG