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Author Notes:

Corresponding author Sandra B. Dunbar, RN, DSN, FAAN, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 (Sbdunba@emory.edu)


Research Funding:

National Institute of Nursing Research : NINR


  • caregiver outcomes
  • family functioning
  • family support
  • heart failure
  • patient education
  • self-care
  • self-management

Family Influences on Heart Failure Self-care and Outcomes


Journal Title:

Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing


Volume 23, Number 3


, Pages 258-265

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Many patient education guidelines for teaching heart failure patients recommend inclusion of the family; however, family-focused interventions to promote self-care in heart failure are few. This article reviews the state of the science regarding family influences on heart failure self-care and outcomes. The literature and current studies suggest that family functioning, family support, problem solving, communication, self-efficacy, and caregiver burden are important areas to target for future research. In addition, heart failure patients without family and those who live alone and are socially isolated are highly vulnerable for poor self-care and should receive focused attention. Specific research questions based on existing science and gaps that need to be filled to support clinical practice are posed.
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