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Social Determinants of Health: Underreported Heterogeneity in Systematic Reviews of Caregiver Interventions

Although most people have some experience as caregivers, the nature and context of care are highly variable. Caregiving, socioeconomic factors, and health are all interrelated. For these reasons, caregiver interventions must consider these factors. This review examines the degree to which caregiver intervention research has reported and considered social determinants of health.We examined published systematic reviews and meta-analyses of interventions for older adults with age-related chronic conditions using the PRISMA and AMSTAR 2 checklists. From 2,707 papers meeting search criteria, we identified 197 potentially relevant systematic reviews, and selected 33 for the final analysis.We found scant information on the inclusion of social determinants; the papers lacked specificity regarding race/ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. The majority of studies focused on dementia, with other conditions common in later life vastly underrepresented.Significant gaps in evidence persist, particularly for interventions targeting diverse conditions and populations. To advance health equity and improve the effectiveness of interventions, research should address caregiver heterogeneity and improve assessment, support, and instruction for diverse populations. Research must identify aspects of heterogeneity that matter in intervention design, while recognizing opportunities for common elements and strategies.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Review
Publisher
Oxford university press
ISBN/ISSN
0016-9013
Publication Year
2020
Issue Number
Supplement_1
Journal Titles
The Gerontologist
Volume Number
60
Start Page
S14
End Page
S28