Dyadic Approach to Managing Heart Failure with Confidence
The majority of heart failure (HF) self-care research remains focused on patients, despite the important involvement of family caregivers. Although self-care confidence has been found to play an important role in the effectiveness of HF self-care management on patient outcomes, no known research has examined self-care confidence within a dyadic context.
The purpose of this study was to identify individual and dyadic determinants of self-care confidence in HF care dyads.
Multilevel modeling, which controls for the interdependent nature of dyadic data, was used to examine 329 Italian HF dyads (caregivers were either spouses or adult children).
Both patients and caregivers reported lower-than-adequate levels of confidence, with caregivers reporting slightly higher confidence than patients. Patient and caregiver levels of confidence were significantly associated with greater patient-reported relationship quality and better caregiver mental health. Patient confidence in self-care was significantly associated with patient female gender, nonspousal care dyads, poor caregiver physical health, and low care strain. Caregiver confidence to contribute to self-care was significantly associated with poor emotional quality of life in patients and greater perceived social support by caregivers.
Findings are supportive of the need for a dyadic perspective of HF self-care in practice and research as well as the importance of addressing the needs of both members of the dyad to maximize optimal outcomes for both.