Robinson R, Barnett T. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2012; 18: 205–209
Health related quality of life and the support needs of carers of cardiac surgical patients: An exploratory study
In this descriptive, repeated-measures study, we assessed changes in Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) of cardiac surgical patients' caregivers over time and their need for support. Ninety-six primary carers of cardiac patients who had received elective surgery at one tertiary referral hospital were recruited. The majority were female spouses of patients who had undergone bypass and/or cardiac valve surgery. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire that included the SF-36v2 quality of life health survey and asked about their need for support 6 weeks and 6 months following patient discharge. Carers reported a significant improvement in five out of eight HRQL dimensions (Physical functioning, Physical role, Vitality, Social functioning, Role-emotional) over the study period (P < 0.05). Those who completed the survey at 6 weeks but not 6 months reported higher scores across all dimensions. Carers' need for support need was higher at 6 weeks than 6 months.