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The well-being and quality of life of men and women of different ages providing care for a relative with dementia

Lorenz, Klara H. (2018) The well-being and quality of life of men and women of different ages providing care for a relative with dementia. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis examined if and how well-being and quality of life of people providing care for a relative with dementia are affected, with particular focus on carer gender and age. Mixed methods research utilised data from three studies in England (MODEM, START and SHIELD-CSP-RYCT) and 25 interviews with carers of people with dementia who also participated in the MODEM cohort study. The qualitative interviews with family carers focused on what carers understood by well-being in the context of dementia care. The ‘relationship with the care-recipient’, ‘support from family and friends’, ‘safety and security’, ‘successful coping mechanisms’, ‘external facilitators to well-being’ and ‘carer health’ were identified as key factors influencing carer well-being and provide an understanding of how carer well-being could be supported. Quantitative analysis of factors influencing carer well-being and quality of life over time pointed towards gender differences in health-related quality of life, happiness and life satisfaction. Women were likely to experience worse outcomes than men. Carer age was found to influence mental health, but results were inconclusive. Finally, quantitative analyses investigated factors influencing the time that carers spent on different care tasks. Women were likely to spend more time on personal care (ADL tasks) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) than men. No age difference could be found in relation to any of the various tasks investigated. This suggests no difference by age in how much time carers spent on personal care, IADLs, supervision or total care. Aspects influencing care intensity provide important insights on aspects that can help to reduce care intensity and increase carer well-being. The thesis highlights the need for recognition of carers as a heterogeneous group, whose characteristics, such as age and gender, need to be taken into consideration when designing and implementing interventions and in conducting research aiming to support carers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Klara H. Lorenz
Library of Congress subject classification: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Knapp, Martin and King, Derek
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3906

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