Background: Heart failure is a chronic condition involving several prominent changes in daily life that may be stressful and burdensome for both the patient and his/her family members. Aim: To analyse and describe the content of family-focused conversations for patients with heart failure and their next of kin. Method: The content of 18 case reports documenting conversations with patients suffering from heart failure (mean 68 years) and their next of kin were analysed using content analysis. Results: The significance of the conversations was captured through an overall theme about the families’ efforts towards stabilisation of family life with heart failure including three categories: families’ illness experiences; planning for the future; and family life with heart failure. Conclusion: Family-focused conversations should be offered as a natural part of the standard care and health care personnel should be challenged to listen to the family’s experiences during the illness trajectory.

Keywords: family nursing, heart failure, family focused conversations, relatives, content analysis