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Young people supporting parents with mental health problems: experiences of assessment and support

The explosion of interest in young people as carers over the last decade and a half conceals the fact that there are still no reliable estimates of the number of young people with caregiving responsibilities. This is even more problematic in circumstances where the 'looked after' person has a mental health problem. In this study, we reflect on what can be done to identify, assess and support young people in these circumstances.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:11

Social problem-solving abilities and distress among family members assuming a caregiving role

We examined the relation of social problem-solving abilities to distress experienced by family members assuming a caregiving role for a loved one who had recently incurred a severe physical disability. Family members completed measures of problem-solving, depression and health, while their loved one participated in an inpatient rehabilitation programme. Correlational analyses indicated that a negative problem orientation was significantly predictive of caregiver distress, regardless of the degree of physical impairment of the care recipient.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:11

Carer burden in schizophrenia: considerations for nursing practice

In the UK, half a million people care for people with severe mental illnesses (Princess Royal Trust for Carers 2002). This article reviews the findings of a study of the views of 13 carers of people self-identified as having schizophrenia on the nature and extent of their role, and its effect on their lives and identities. According to these findings, carers experience stress and illness, and think that the support they receive from professionals is inadequate. As a result, they think that help and psychotherapeutic interventions, such as family therapy, should be more accessible. 

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:11

The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Family Caregivers: Systematic Review

Caring for patients with various conditions is demanding and stressful and can have a negative impact on both physical and psychological health. This paper reports a systematic review and critical appraisal of the evidence on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction for the family caregivers of patients with various conditions. There were improvements in the self-rated psychological symptoms, such as stress, depression, anxiety and mindfulness.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:11

Gatekeepers, proxies, advocates? The evolving role of carers under mental health and mental incapacity law reforms

This article explores the potential impact of the mental health and mental incapacity law reforms on carers. The reform proposals anticipate a number of overlapping and at times conflicting roles for carers (including those of gatekeeper, decision-making proxy and advocate), which is suggestive of an ongoing ambivalence toward the caring role at the level of ethics, policy and strategic planning.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

'Mum I used to be good looking... look at me now': the physical health needs of adults with mental health problems: the perspectives of users, carers and front-line staff

This study uses focus groups of users, carers, and structured staff interviews to explore the physical health needs of mental health services users and the barriers that make it hard for them to seek or gain access to services. Results found that despite the inextricable link between physical well-being and mental health, professionals in both primary and secondary care fail to view users holistically. Professional role ambiguity and poor communications result in access difficulties for users and add to the burden felt by carers.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

Short- and medium-term effects of informal care provision on female caregivers’ health

In this paper, we present estimates of the effect of informal care provision on female caregivers' health. We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and assess effects up to seven years after care provision. The results suggest that there is a considerable negative short-term effect of informal care provision on mental health which fades out over time. Five years after care provision the effect is still negative but smaller and insignificant. Both short- and medium-term effects on physical health are virtually zero throughout.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

Services to support carers of people with mental health problems : briefing paper

This paper summarises findings of a review of research evidence and current service provision of support of carers of people with mental health problems (Arksey et al., 2002). Research consisting of (i) a literature review and (ii) a consultation exercise was carried out between October 2001 and March 2002. The research was commissioned by the National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation Research and Development (NCCSDO)

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

Estimating the prevalence of unpaid adult care over time

To help fulfil their responsibilities towards unpaid carers, service providers need some idea of the carer's situation and how many might require support. This paper argues that estimating the prevalence of unpaid care across service planning and budgeting cycles provides a better indication of the size and composition of the carer population than estimates at a point in time. The article presents prevalence rates of unpaid adult care from the British Household Panel Survey.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:09

Scoping the field : services for carers of people with mental health problems

Mental ill health is very common. Most people with mental health problems live in the community, and as many as 1.5 million people in the UK may be involved in caring for a relative or friend with a mental illness or some form of dementia. Recent legislation and policy initiatives such as the National Strategy for Carers, and the National Service Frameworks for Mental Health and Older People emphasise the importance of providing support for this particular group of carers.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:09