“We're all we got is each other”: Mixed-methods analysis of patient-caregiver dyads’ management of heart failure

Publication Name

Heart and Lung


Background: Individuals living with heart failure often require informal caregiving assistance for optimal self-care maintenance. The influence of caregiver burden and resilience on dyadic congruence is not well understood. Objective: To compare how dyadic congruence is influenced by level of burden and resilience expressed by caregivers of patients with heart failure. Methods: Mixed-methods analysis of individuals with heart failure and their caregivers, focusing on measures of caregiver burden (Zarit Burden Interview) and resilience (Brief Resilience Scale). Data were integrated using the Heart Failure Care Dyadic Typology. Results: Twelve dyads (n=24 participants) were classified as Type II (n=7) and Type III (n=5) dyads. Among Type II dyads, average caregiver burden was 19.43 (± 13.89) and resilience was 3.16 (± 1.04). For Type III dyads, average caregiver burden was 3.80 (± 4.27) and resilience 4.07 (± 1.36), respectively. Two key themes were derived: 1) caregivers’ tendency to take the lead, and 2) the usefulness of cognitive reframing. Data integration elucidated that theme 1 was more common among Type II dyads and those with higher burden, and theme 2 was more prevalent among Type III dyads and those with higher resilience. Conclusion: Findings highlight important variances in how dyads collectively manage heart failure. Future inquiry should involve tailored intervention development to bolster informal caregivers’ quality of life and ability to better support patients throughout their heart failure trajectory.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access



First Page


Last Page


Funding Number




Link to publisher version (DOI)