Melanie Diggle

Thesis title: Bereaved caregivers' experiences of end of life care for people with Advanced Heart Failure: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

Start year: 2020


Supervisor(s): Dr Dan Butcher, Dr Sue Schutz

Melanie Diggle

Research topic

Heart Failure is a syndrome that arises due to anatomical and physiological changes to the heart. Despite advancements in medical interventions, the prognosis for those with Heart Failure is poor. Living with and dying from Heart Failure is a complicated process that can involve periods of distress for both the person and their caregiver. To date, research has recognised that caregivers play a significant role in supporting a person with Heart Failure throughout the trajectory of the condition. However, there is limited research that focuses on the experience of end of life care for caregivers of people who have lived with and subsequently died from Heart Failure. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore and examine in depth, the end of life experiences of bereaved caregivers of people with Advanced Heart Failure. To achieve this, an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology will be used, which will involve interviewing bereaved caregivers about their experiences of caring for a person with Heart Failure at the end of their life. The findings of the study will be disseminated throughout the research community, with the aim of considering the possibility of enhancing the care and support that current and future caregivers of people with Heart Failure receive, by influencing policy and professional practice around end of life care for this group of people.