Do Social and Caregiver Support Interventions Improve Outcomes for Heart Failure Patients? A Review of the Literature

Primary Investigator: 
Dr. Madeline R. Sterling
Research Contact Email:
Research Contact Phone: 
(201) 960-4700

In 2016-2017 I conducted a qualitative study to understand the role of numeracy in the management of heart failure. One major finding of this study was that the majority of patients with heart failure rely on caregivers, both paid (home health aides) and unpaid (family and relatives) to carry out heart failure self-care tasks, such as weighing themselves, monitoring their blood pressure and following a low-sodium diet. The association between social support and outcomes (self-care, hospitalization, readmission, mortality, etc.,) among heart failure patients has been studied; the literature points to a positive association for many outcomes. Yet, few studies have investigated the effect of social and caregiver support interventions on outcomes in this patient population. The objective of this study will be to conduct a review of the literature in order to examine the effects of social and caregiver support interventions (randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental study designs) on outcomes among adults with heart failure.

I will be collaborating with a WCMC research librarian to conduct the search, but am looking for additional collaborators to help with the review of studies which meet inclusion criteria, data analysis and data synthesis. The timeline for this project is 2-3 months, with the goal of completing a paper by late summer, early fall of 2017.

Currently in the planning phase. This project will start in June 2017.

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