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Authors

  1. Hamilton, Heather PhD, RN

Abstract

Assistance from informal caregivers such as family members, friends, or neighbors is crucial to adequately managing the complex care of heart failure (HF) patients. This study examined the lived experience of African American caregivers caring for African American patients with HF. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 10 participants who were formally interviewed. The interviews, analyzed using Colaizzi's steps, revealed six themes: layers of support, realization of self-neglect, experiencing the "blues," connecting with healthcare providers, unmet financial needs, and perception of nonadherence. The information regarding the experience of African American caregivers of HF patients obtained through this research will inform the delivery of culturally competent support to caregivers, thereby improving quality of life for both the HF patients and their caregivers.