Objectives: Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have rapid and irregular heart rates, increasing the risk of comorbidities and mortality. Next to formal medical care, many patients receive informal care from their social environment. The objective of this study was to examine the well-being and economic burden of providing informal care to patients with AF in the UK, Italy, and Germany. Methods: Caregivers of patients with AF completed an online survey based on the iMTA Valuation of Informal Care Questionnaire, with questions about their caregiving situation, perceived burden of caregiving, and absence from work due to health problems resulting from caregiving. Care-related quality-of-life utilities were calculated using the Care-related Quality of Life instrument and associated tariffs. Societal costs of caregiving were calculated based on the proxy good method. Results: A total of 585 caregivers participated in this study. On average, caregivers provided 33 hours of informal care per week to patients (SD 29 hours). On a scale from 0 to 10, their self-rated burden was 5.4. The average Care-related Quality of Life utility was 72. Caregivers primarily indicated problems with daily activities, mental health, and physical health. Still, the vast majority of caregivers (87%) derived fulfillment from providing care. Weekly societal costs of caregiving were on average V636. Comorbidities contributed substantially to the caregiver time and burden. Conclusions: Caring for a patient with AF is associated with substantial objective and subjective burden, but also provides fulfillment from being able to care for a loved one.

atrial fibrillation, caregiver burden, informal care, societal costs.
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jval.2020.09.011, hdl.handle.net/1765/134237
Value in Health
Institute for Medical Technology Assessment (iMTA)

Kanters, T.A, Brugts, J.J., Manintvelt, O.C., & Versteegh, M.M. (2021). Burden of providing informal care for patients with atrial fibrillation. Value in Health, 24(2), 236–243. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2020.09.011