Impacts of caregiving on the health and quality of life of European carers

May 30, 2013

The impact that providing informal care to close relatives has on people's health and quality of life depends on where they live and their cultural and social background, according to research published today by the Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

Using a drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (which provides data from 11 countries but not including the UK), researchers assessed whether matched individuals differed on self-assessed health and on a validated measure of quality of life. They also explored whether any regional differences exist across Europe.

Overall results showed a North-South divide for both self-assessed health and quality of life. Caregivers in Northern (Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands) and (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium) rate their own health higher than non-carers while in the South (Spain, Greece and Italy) there is no significant difference. Formal care provision explains some of the differences as carers with more formal support structures rate their health as better than non-carers.

Researchers also observed North-South differences in quality of life, with caregivers in Central Europe and the South experiencing feelings of more self-realisation and pleasure, but those in Central Europe feeling less autonomous and in control.

One of the research team, Rowena Jacobs said: "Our findings suggest that formulating effective policies across Europe could be particularly challenging and shows the importance of ensuring that policy should be tailored to match the needs of individual carers in their own geographical areas and cultural contexts."

Explore further: Survey reveals the success of personal budgets in social care

More information: Di Novi, C. et al. The quality of life of female informal caregivers: from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea. CHE Research Paper 84, York: University of York. www.york.ac.uk/che/publications/

Related Stories

Survey reveals the success of personal budgets in social care

May 23, 2013
Over 70 per cent of people who hold a personal budget for social care said it led to greater independence and support according to the latest survey.

Who cares for the elderly?

October 2, 2012
Carers for the elderly are more likely to be female, aged 70, facing health risks, and under financial stress a Sydney Nursing School and Sydney Medical School study has found.

Researchers to investigate how satisfied caretakers of stroke survivors are with social care support

March 19, 2013
Experts from Kingston University and St George's, University of London, have launched a study to examine whether people caring for family members who have had a stroke feel the social care services designed to support them, ...

Study reveals pressure ulcer research uncertainties

May 9, 2013
A new study involving researchers at the University of York has revealed substantial areas of doubt and uncertainty about the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers.

Link between alcohol and harm is stronger in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Sweden than in Italy

October 14, 2011
Research clearly shows a dose-response relationship between alcohol and health issues such as cirrhosis of the liver. More recent research has shown linkages between greater drinking and greater problems such as interpersonal ...

Recommended for you

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life, study finds

September 22, 2017
Whether it's running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it's been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, ...

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.