Article Text

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


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.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.