The relational dynamics of caregivers of patients with a left ventricular assist device for destination-therapy: A qualitative investigation Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Caregivers are critical to the recovery and management of patients with destination-therapy left ventricular assist devices (DT-LVADs). OBJECTIVE: To explore the needs and impacts of caregiving for patients with DT-LVAD relative to the various relationships caregivers navigate from the shared perspectives of patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers. METHODS: Qualitative descriptive secondary analysis. Patients with a DT-LVAD (n = 3), caregivers (n = 2), and healthcare providers (n = 13) from all DT-LVAD programs in Ontario, Canada were invited to participate in semi-structured interviews. We used thematic analysis to identify, analyze, organize, describe, and report caregiver-related themes. RESULTS: Eighteen participants were interviewed. The needs and impact of caregiving for patients with DT-LVADs were characterized by connection with others (relational), and drastic and ongoing changes from normalcy within established and new relationships (dynamics). CONCLUSIONS: DT-LVAD caregivers' unique needs may be a result of multi-leveled and compounding relational dynamics within and across established and new relationships. These could be considered to inform the content of targeted support strategies.


  • Lewis, Krystina B
  • Harkness, Karen
  • Hummel, Amanda
  • Leung, Jennifer
  • MacIver, Jane

publication date

  • May 2021