In a study of Italian heart failure patient-caregiver dyads, greater caregiver strain significantly predicted lower patient clinical event risk.
The purpose of this secondary analysis was to examine this relationship in a sample from the United States.
Data came from 92 dyads who participated in a self-care intervention. Logistic regression was used to test the relationship between baseline strain (Bakas Caregiving Outcomes Scale, divided into tertiles) and patient likelihood of events (heart failure hospitalization/emergency visit or all-cause mortality) over 8 months.
Nearly half of patients (n = 40, 43.5%) had an event. High (vs low) caregiver strain was associated with a 92.7% event-risk reduction, but with substantial variability around the effect (odds ratio, 0.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.01–0.63; P = .02).
Although findings were similar to the Italian study, the high degree of variability and contrasting findings to other studies signal a level of complexity that warrants further investigation.