Experience of Active Duty Military Caregivers of Women with CHF


Name: Denise Boren

Rank: CDR, USN

Organization: The Henry Jackson Foundation

Performance Site: Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA

Year Published: 2003

Abstract Status: Final


Heart failure is a significant condition for women. Women have a higher incidence of heart failure, are hospitalized more with this diagnosis, and following myocardial infarction, women are more often disabled with heart failure within six years of the event. Although length of survival after diagnosis is greater for women than men, their quality of life is poorer. The abundant resources for health care have dwindled with emergence of the managed care concept. Family members have assumed the critical role of caregiving for loved ones with heart failure. Heart failure is complicated illness and challenging to manage. Women with heart failure and family caregivers lack knowledge, information and support in efforts to manage this illness. Caregivers are not prepared for this role. If the family is military, and the family caregiver is an active duty service member, the situation is confounded by the demands of the job, long deployments and isolation from extended families. Lack of knowledge, information and support causes significant stress and leads to nonadherence, exacerbation of heart failure and hospitalization. This can be detrimental to readiness to fulfill the mission at a homeport or on deployment, during peacetime or war. The purpose of this research is to explain the experiences of active duty military caregivers of women with heart failure. Grounded theory methodology will be used in this study. Active duty military family caregivers will be recruited from clinics within the Naval Medical Center and by posting announcements at fleet commands, gymnasiums and base chapels. A time and location will be scheduled to meet with participants to complete a demographic information form and a semi-structured interview. The interviews will be transcribed and coded. Observational, theoretical and methodological notes will be written and included in the analysis. Dimensional analysis and constant-comparative method will be used for data analysis. Demographic data will be analyzed using means and percentages to describe the demographic characteristics of the sample. Findings from this research and preliminary studies collectively will be instrumental in developing strategies of health care for women with chronic heart failure, and programs that provide (1) ongoing support; (2) assistance with individual and family readiness for deployment; and ultimately (3) health, comfort and reassurance for active duty family caregivers while performing their mission at home or during deployment.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013103511.xhtml