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Advanced heart failure patients and family caregivers health and function: randomised controlled pilot trial of online dignity therapy

Abstract

Objectives This research investigated the effectiveness of the caregiver-mediated online dignity therapy in enhancing dyadic health and family function.

Methods Heart failure (HF) family dyads were recruited between May and December 2021 from a university-affiliated hospital in China. The dyads (N=70) were randomly allocated to the intervention group and the control group. We assessed patients’ outcomes (hope, well-being, Family APGAR Index and quality of life (QoL)) and their family caregivers’ outcomes (anxiety, depression and Family APGAR Index) at baseline (T0), 1 week (T1), 4 weeks (T2) and 8 weeks (T3) after discharge.

Results For patients, the difference over time was significant in QoL (p<0.001). The interaction effects were significant for hope (p<0.001), well-being (p<0.001), Family APGAR Index (p<0.001) and QoL (p=0.007). For family caregivers, a significant difference in depression (p=0.001) was found within groups. Meanwhile, the interaction effects were significant on anxiety (p=0.002) and depression (p=0.016).

Conclusions Caregiver-mediated online dignity therapy among patients with advanced HF had potential to enhance patient outcomes (level of hope, well-being, family function and QoL) and alleviate caregiver outcomes (anxiety, depression) at 4-week and 8-week follow-up. Thus, we provided scientific evidence for palliative care for advanced HF.

Trial registration number ChiCTR2100053758.

  • Heart failure
  • Quality of life
  • Spiritual care
  • Family management
  • End of life care
  • Nursing Home care

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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