While caregivers (CGs) make an important contribution to the self-care of heart failure (HF) patients, there are no reliable and valid tools for measuring such contributions. Current interventions that strive to optimize patient outcomes through self-care strategies neglect to account for CG contributions, a potential confounder on outcomes. The aim of the study was to develop an instrument that measures CG contributions to HF patients’ self-care.
The study design follows an established process for instrument development.
A systematic literature review and semi-structured interviews of CGs were conducted to identify measurable CG activities. Items were derived from thematic analysis of CG narratives. A content validity index was computed for each item (I-CVI). Items with an I-CVI of >0·70 were retained. Items with an I-CVI of 0·50–0·70 were revised for clarification and items with an I-CVI <0·5 were discarded, except in instances where fulsome theoretical or empirical evidence supported their retention.
14 CGs completed interviews and 10 CGs with 4 expert nurses completed I-CVI testing. Major interview themes included arranging appointments, medication adherence, monitoring, coordinating care, encouraging independence and taking action. A total of 36 items were constructed and underwent I-CVI testing. Following I-CVI testing, 27 items were retained, seven items were retained after revision based on CG feedback and two items were removed. This newly developed 34-item questionnaire represents current literature, CGs’ experiences, excellent I-CVI scores and ready for further psychometric testing.