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Impact of caregiving on the health of family caregivers

OBJECTIVES: To identify the type of care provided by informal carers of dependent persons and the repercussions this care might have on the health of the carers, and to find the characteristics of both informal carers and cared-for people.

DESIGN: An observational cross-sectional study.

SETTING: This study was conducted in various towns in the province of Barcelona between January and December 1997 in primary health care.

PARTICIPANTS: Those taking part were 240 informal carers (IC) for dependent persons.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The ICUB 97 questionnaire was the data-gathering instrument. It was validated previously by the research team and based on the fourteen needs of the Virginia Henderson nursing model. The questionnaire was filled in at a personal interview. The level of dependence of people cared for was evaluated with the Barthel and Philadelphia Geriatric Center indices. The analysis of the results reflected that the greater the level of dependence of the person cared for, the more care is provided by the carer. The main repercussions of caring on the health of the carers were: back pain (73%), tiredness (72%), reduced leisure time (73%), insomnia (65%), anxiety (72%) and changes in family life (54%). Repercussions that correlated most closely with the fact of caring were: sleep disorders, family economy, personal development and leisure, middle age and having few educational qualifications.

CONCLUSIONS: Most carers are middle-aged women performing multiple care tasks. This work causes their quality of life to deteriorate.

Additional Titles
Atencion Primaria
Impacto del hecho de cuidar en la salud de los cuidadores familiares.
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Scopus scopus - exported 1/8/16
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