Purpose – Around 50 per cent of carers of people with eating disorders (EDs) experience mental health difficulties. The purpose of this paper is to investigate well-being of carers of people with ED and carers of people with severe and enduring eating disorders (SEEDs).
Design/methodology/approach – Carers (n=104) were recruited from UK support groups and stratified using duration of the care recipient’s ED (0-2, 2-6, > 6 years), with the > 6 years category classified as SEED. Data were compared with existing carer well-being studies of other patient groups.
Findings – Carers of people with SEED were not significantly different on reported well-being to carers of people with ED. However, carers of people with ED reported significantly less well-being than community norms, carers of people with brain injury and of people with dementia. Specifically, poorer social functioning was reported.
Research limitations/implications – Further research on carers of people with SEED is warranted as carers of people with SEED were not equally balanced in gender. It would be beneficial if support groups and skill-based workshops were more available for carers.
Originality/value – This is the first known study to compare carer well-being of people with SEED with carers of other clinical populations. Further research is required to identify the needs of carers.