Objective: Compare the impact of two interventions, a web-based support and a folder support, for young persons who care for people who suffer from mental illness.
Methods: This study was a randomized control trial, following the CONSORT statements, which compared the impact of two interventions. Primary outcome variable was stress, and secondary outcome variables were caring situation, general self-efficacy, well-being, health, and quality of life of young informal carers (N = 241). Data were collected in June 2010 to April 2011, with self-assessment questionnaires, comparing the two interventions and also to detect changes.
Results: The stress levels were high in both groups at baseline, but decreased in the folder group. The folder group had improvement in their caring situation (also different from the web group), general self-efficacy, well-being, and quality of life. The web group showed increase in well-being.
Conclusion: Young informal carers who take on the responsibility for people close to them; suffer consequences on their own health. They live in a life-situation characterized by high stress and low well-being. This signals a need for support.
Practice implications: The non-significant differences show that each intervention can be effective, and that it depends upon the individual's preferences. This highlights the importance of adopting person-centered approach, in which young persons can themselves choose support strategy.