Guidelines recommend incorporation of caregiver burden assessment and list significant caregiver burden as a relative contraindication when considering left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. To assess national practices regarding caregiver burden assessment, in 2019 we administered a 47-item survey to LVAD clinicians using four convenience samples. Responses were obtained from 191 registered nurses, 109 advance practice providers, 71 physicians, 59 social workers, and 40 others representing 132 LVAD programs; 125 of 173 total United States programs were included in the final analysis. While most programs (83.2%) assessed caregiver burden, assessment was most frequently conducted informally during social work evaluation (83.2%), with only 8.8% incorporating validated measures of caregiver burden. Larger programs were more likely to use a validated assessment measure (OR 6.68 [1.33 – 33.52]). Future research should focus on how programs can standardize caregiver burden assessment and how the level of burden may impact patient and caregiver outcomes.
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