Trajectory of psychosocial measures amongst informal caregivers: Case-controlled study of 1375 informal caregivers from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

Toby Smith, Amanda Saunders, Jay Heard

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Abstract

Background: Informal caregivers provide vital support for older adults living in the community with chronic illnesses. The purpose of this study was to assess the psychosocial status of informal caregivers of community-dwelling adults over an eight-year period. Methods: Informal caregivers of adult care-recipients were identified from Wave 1 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) cohort. Multivariate regression analysis models were constructed to assess the association between participant’s psychosocial characteristics and informal caregiving. Multilevel modelling explored the psychosocial changes between caregivers and non-caregivers over eight years. Results: 1375 informal caregivers and 2750 age-matched non-caregivers were analysed. Self-reported loneliness (Odd Ratio (OR): 0.26; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.01-0.51) and relationship status (OR: 0.36; 95% CI:0.16 to 0.46) were independently associated with caregiving. Caregivers were more socially isolated with less holidaying abroad (OR: 0.51; 95% CI: 0.35-0.66), attendance to church (OR: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.11-0.49) or charity groups (OR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.14-0.55). On multilevel analysis, over time (eight-years), caregivers reported greater loneliness (p<0.01), change in relationship status (p=0.01) and reduced control, autonomy and pleasure (p≤0.01) compared to non-caregivers. Discussion: Given the deleterious effects caregiving can place on health and wellbeing, further interventions are required to improve these psychosocial factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number26
Number of pages18
JournalGeriatrics
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Caregiver
  • Family support
  • Community independence
  • Older people
  • Trajectory

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