Background: Family caregivers (FCGs) often participate in the decision for their loved one to receive a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Little is known about the contribution of FCGs to this complex decision. Objectives: To investigate family caregiver-reported outcomes related to decision-making for LVAD implantation and their experiences post-implantation. Methods: Descriptive thematic analysis was used to analyze longitudinal data. Thematic saturation was achieved. Results: Three key themes emerged from the data. The main theme in the pre-implantation period was: Not a decision. The two themes in the post-implantation period were: More satisfaction than regret and Unanticipated situational change. Conclusions: Family caregiver-reported outcomes inform clinical practice and future research. FCGs of LVAD recipients did not see viable alternatives to LVAD implantation, were generally satisfied with post-implantation outcomes, and experienced unexpected life changes in the post-implantation period despite feeling prepared preoperatively. Education of both LVAD recipients and their FCGs must be optimized.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine