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 4 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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Published online: February 28, 2023
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