Give me a break! Informal caregiver attitudes towards respite care.
ABSTRACT Because informal health care is now recognized to be indispensable to health care systems, different forms of respite care have been developed and publicly funded that supposedly alleviate caregivers' perceived burdens and help prolong the care giving task. Nonetheless, the use of respite care services is low even among substantially strained caregivers. To throw light on this low usage, this paper explores the associations between attitudes towards respite care, characteristics of the care giving situation, and the need and use of respite care.
The survey, administered to a sample of 273 informal caregivers, addressed caregiver, care recipient, and care giving situation characteristics, as well as the familiarity and use of respite care services. It also included a sub-set of 12 statements eliciting attitudes towards respite care from an earlier study [Van Exel NJA, De Graaf G, Brouwer WBF. Care for a break? An investigation of informal caregivers' attitudes toward respite care using Q-methodology. Health Policy 2007;83(2/3):332-42]. Associations between variables were measured using univariate statistics and multinomial logistic regression.
We found three caregiver attitudes, distributed fairly equally in the sample, that are apparently associated with caregiver educational level, employment status, health and happiness, as well as care recipient gender, duration and intensity of care giving, relationship, co-residence, need for surveillance, and subjective burden and process utility of care giving. However, the relation between attitude and familiarity with and use of respite care services is ambiguous.
Although further exploration is needed of the mix of Q-methodology and survey analysis, the overall results indicate that a considerable portion of the caregiver population needs but does not readily ask for support or respite care. This finding has important policy implications in the context of an ageing population.
Article: A new test of the construct validity of the CarerQol instrument: measuring the impact of informal care giving.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Most economic evaluations of health care programmes do not consider the effects of informal care, while this could lead to suboptimal policy decisions. This study investigates the construct validity of the CarerQol instrument, which measures and values carer effects, in a new population of informal caregivers. A questionnaire was distributed by mail (n = 1,100, net response rate = 21%) to regional informal care support centers throughout the Netherlands. Two types of construct validity, i.e., convergent and clinical validity, have been analyzed. Convergent validity was assessed with Spearman's correlation coefficients and multivariate correlation between the burden dimensions (CarerQol-7D) and the valuation component (CarerQol-VAS) of the CarerQol. Additionally, convergent validity was analyzed with Spearman's correlation coefficients between the CarerQol and other measures of subjective caregiver burden (SRB, PU). Clinical validity was evaluated with multivariate correlation between CarerQol-VAS and CarerQol-7D, characteristics of caregivers, care recipients and care situation among the whole sample of caregivers and subgroups. The positive (negative) dimensions of CarerQol-7D were positively (negatively) related to CarerQol-VAS, and almost all had moderate strength of convergent validity. CarerQol-VAS was positively associated with PU and negatively with SRB. The CarerQol-VAS reflects differences in important background characteristics of informal care: type of relationship, age of the care recipient and duration of care giving were associated with higher CarerQol-VAS scores. These results confirmed earlier tests of the construct validity of the CarerQol. Furthermore, the dimensions of CarerQol-7D significantly explained differences in CarerQol-VAS scores among subgroups of carers. Notwithstanding the limitations of our study, such as the low response rate, this study shows that the CarerQol provides a valid means to measure carer effects for use in economic evaluations. Future research should derive a valuation set for the CarerQol and further address the instrument's content validity, sensitivity and reliability.Quality of Life Research 01/2011; 20(6):875-87. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Health and social services provided at home are becoming increasingly important. Hence, there is a need for information on home care in Europe. The objective of this literature review was to respond to this need by systematically describing what has been reported on home care in Europe in the scientific literature over the past decade. A systematic literature search was performed for papers on home care published in English, using the following data bases: Cinahl, the Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, and Social Care Online. Studies were only included if they complied with the definition of home care, were published between January 1998 and October 2009, and dealt with at least one of the 31 specified countries. Clinical interventions, instrument developments, local projects and reviews were excluded. The data extracted included: the characteristics of the study and aspects of home care 'policy & regulation', 'financing', 'organisation & service delivery', and 'clients & informal carers'. Seventy-four out of 5,133 potentially relevant studies met the inclusion criteria, providing information on 18 countries. Many focused on the characteristics of home care recipients and on the organisation of home care. Geographical inequalities, market forces, quality and integration of services were also among the issues frequently discussed. Home care systems appeared to differ both between and within countries. The papers included, however, provided only a limited picture of home care. Many studies only focused on one aspect of the home care system and international comparative studies were rare. Furthermore, little information emerged on home care financing and on home care in general in Eastern Europe. This review clearly shows the need for more scientific publications on home care, especially studies comparing countries. A comprehensive and more complete insight into the state of home care in Europe requires the gathering of information using a uniform framework and methodology.BMC Health Services Research 08/2011; 11:207. · 1.66 Impact Factor
BMC Health Services Research 08/2011; · 1.66 Impact Factor