Change in Caregiver Health-Related Quality of Life from before to Early after Surgery: SUSTAIN-IT Study

Sarah Chuzi, Jane E. Wilcox, Andrew Kao, John A. Spertus, Eileen Hsich, Mary Amanda Dew, Clyde W. Yancy, Duc T. Pham, Justin Hartupee, Michael Petty, William Cotts, Salpy V. Pamboukian, Francis D. Pagani, Brent Lampert, Maryl Johnson, Margaret Murray, Koji Takeda, Melana Yuzefpolskaya, Scott Silvestry, James K. KirklinTingqing Wu, Adin Cristian Andrei, Abigail Baldridge, Kathleen L. Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Information about health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among caregivers of older patients with heart failure who receive heart transplantation (HT) and mechanical circulatory support (MCS) is sparse. We describe differences and factors associated with change in HRQOL before and early post-surgery among caregivers of older heart failure patients who underwent 3 surgical therapies: HT with pretransplant MCS (HT MCS), HT without pretransplant MCS (HT non-MCS), and long-term MCS. METHODS: Caregivers of older patients (60-80 years) from 13 US sites completed the EQ-5D-3 L visual analog scale (0 [worst]-100 [best] imaginable health state) and dimensions before and 3 and 6 months post-surgery. Analyses included linear regression, t tests, and nonparametric tests. RESULTS: Among 227 caregivers (HT MCS=54, HT non-MCS=76, long-term MCS=97; median age 62.7 years, 30% male, 84% White, 83% spouse/partner), EQ-5D visual analog scale scores were high before (84.8±14.1) and at 3 (84.7±13.0) and 6 (83.9±14.7) months post-surgery, without significant differences among groups or changes over time. Patient pulmonary hypertension presurgery (β=-13.72 [95% CI, -21.07 to -6.36]; P<0.001) and arrhythmia from 3 to 6 months post-operatively (β=-14.22 [95% CI, -27.41 to -1.02]; P=0.035) were associated with the largest decrements in caregiver HRQOL; patient marital/partner status (β=6.21 [95% CI, 1.34-11.08]; P=0.013) and presurgery coronary disease (β=8.98 [95% CI, 4.07-13.89]; P<0.001) were associated with the largest improvements. CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers of older patients undergoing heart failure surgeries reported overall high HRQOL before and early post-surgery. Understanding factors associated with caregiver HRQOL may inform decision-making and support needs. REGISTRATION: URL:; Unique identifier: NCT02568930.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e010038
JournalCirculation: Heart Failure
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • aged
  • caregivers
  • heart failure
  • heart-assist devices
  • quality of life


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