Caregivers of heart patients are regarded as one of the key health resources in healthcare systems around the world. They play a major role in guidance and continuation of care. Nonetheless, they are often neglected in interventional programs even though paying attention to caregivers and their educational needs can enrich the educational interventions designed for this group of patients.
This article aimed to explain the educational needs of the family caregivers of patients with Heart Failure (HF) from the perspective of key informants as a part of a sequential exploratory mixed method study.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, 14 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants selected through purposive sampling. The data were analyzed using a regular interview and analysis plan based on a qualitative content analysis approach.
The educational needs of the family caregivers were summarized as three themes: “basic care management education”, “care with dignity”, and “resilience development”. The first theme consisted of gaining targeted knowledge and skills, crisis management, and improving patients’ quality of life, all of which pointed to the caregivers’ need for knowledge and skills in order to meet patients’ basic needs, manage their critical situations, and help them achieve a higher quality of life. The second theme consisted of respecting patients and caregivers’ accountability, which were relate to the educational needs of caregivers in terms of respecting patients’ dignity during care and meeting their transcendent needs as proposed in the higher level of Maslow’s hierarchy. The third theme dealt with maintaining caregivers’ physical and psychosocial health, challenge management using internal and external resources, and promoting participatory care, which indicated the techniques needed to empower caregivers to continue proper caregiving and adapt to their caregiving role.
Family caregivers of HF patients need to learn resilience strategies and gain targeted knowledge about generous caregiving. Therefore, identifying the educational needs of this group of caregivers will play a major role in designing programs for their empowerment.