Monday, 10 February 2014

Research news #2 for 2014: UNE study on rural carers

Study on the impact of informal caregiving on the health and wellbeing of rural carers

Professor Rafat Hussain (principal investigator), Dr Stuart Wark and 
Ms Peta Ryan from the School of Rural Medicine, UNE.

Researchers at the University of New England, in Armidale (NSW), are conducting a study on the impact of informal caregiving on the health and wellbeing of carers in rural and regional areas.

Participation is invited in an online survey.

Some preliminary results shared by researcher Peta Ryan:
  • The common conditions that we have found people caring for include: Autism, Down Syndrome, Cancer, Dementia, ageing, parkinsons, schizophrenia, bipolar, ADD and Alzheimer's.
  • The carers we have so far have age ranges from 20-82 years old with an average of 49 years old. 
  • The majority have been female (86%)
  • About half of the carers work.
  • And over 80% are the primary caregiver living with the person they provide car for.
  • Of the people that are aware of carer support groups most (>60%) are not members (distance and time are the most common reasons why not).
  • Over 30% of carers say their health is somewhat worse than one year ago. 
  • Over 60% of carers so far have accomplished less than they would have liked in the last month.
  • Only 8% of carers reported having no bodily pain in the last four weeks although 24% of carers did not have pain that interfered with their normal work (household duties, occupation)
  • Most respondents felt depressed a little of the time (38%) while 17% felt depressed none of the time.

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