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Assessing quality of life in Welsh carers with and without back pain

Background: The author aimed to study the prevalence and characteristics of care provision in Welsh adults with and without back pain, as well as their quality of life. The study used a country-wide and population-based setting from an independent dataset. Method Data were retrieved from and analysed in the Welsh Health Survey 2013. Information on demographics, lifestyle factors, regular care provision, and quality of life was obtained from household interviews. Chi-square tests, t-tests, and survey-weighted multinomial regression modelling were performed.

Results: Of 15 007 Welsh adults aged 16 years and above, 2751 (18.3%) reported they had been caring for a sick, disabled, or frail person. The carers tended to be between 40–74 years, female, had not obtained a bachelor's degree, with a body mass index >25, physically active, smokers, and living in indoor secondhand smoke households. People who lived in mid and western Wales tended to give care, compared with those who lived in southeast and north Wales. Carers with back pain experienced slight physical health and emotional problems, whereas carers without back pain experienced worse physical health and emotional problems, which could disrupt normal life.

Conclusion: Nearly one in five Welsh adults, with or without back pain, have provided care for other people. Future socioeconomic structure, health policy, and nursing programmes to reinvest in long-term care, such as a national psychiatric care initiative, should be encouraged, to lessen mental suffering alongside chronic pains and to optimise adult mental health and quality of life in all people, with or without back pain.

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British Journal of Community Nursing

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