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Caregiver wellbeing during Covid-19: does being hopeful play a role?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
Early online date22 Sep 2021
DOIs
Accepted/In press14 Sep 2021
E-pub ahead of print22 Sep 2021
PublishedDec 2021

Documents

King's Authors

Abstract

Background: Informal (unpaid) carers represent a core component of health and social care systems. However, their experiences, health impacts and care needs during Covid-19 have been largely overlooked. This study aimed to explore the health and wellbeing impacts of Covid-19 on carers and the contribution of hopefulness. Methods: Data were collected from an online survey hosted on the Qualtrics platform. Results: Three hundred and sixty-nine participants consented to the survey. Data are reported on 186 participants with an 80% or higher completion rate. Most participants (> 80%) reported poor sleep quality, while nearly half the sample met case threshold for anxiety (46.2%) and 29% for depression. Mood disturbance in carers was associated with higher levels of sleep disturbances. Positive wellbeing in carers was best predicted by having a more hopeful outlook and fewer symptoms of depression. Limitations: A cross-sectional survey-based design that is unable to offer no definitive conclusions about the direction of the results. The study was also limited by having carer participants as the only informants. Conclusions: Though informal carers are found in all areas of society, their experiences and health correlates during Covid-19 have not attracted much research attention. The additional and unique challenges of the pandemic for the health and wellbeing needs of carers must not be overlooked as is sadly so often the case. Instead, the experiences of carers and their needs should be prioritised, publicised, and matched by needs-led interventions. Identifying carers and enquiring about their wellbeing would be a laudable first step.

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