Health related quality of life and the support needs of carers of cardiac surgical patients: An exploratory study

Authors

  • Rosemary Robinson RN MN,

    1. Discharge Coordinator, Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia
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  • Tony Barnett PhD BAppSc MEd RN FRCNA FRSA

    Corresponding author
    1. Director, University Department of Rural Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
      Tony Barnett, University Department of Rural Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1372, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia. Email: tony.barnett@utas.edu.au
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Tony Barnett, University Department of Rural Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Tasmania, Locked Bag 1372, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia. Email: tony.barnett@utas.edu.au

Abstract

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.

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