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Understanding health trajectories among unpaid carers in the United Kingdom

Cartagena Farias, Javiera ORCID: 0000-0002-5984-0317 and Brimblecombe, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0002-6147-5726 (2022) Understanding health trajectories among unpaid carers in the United Kingdom. Journal of Long-Term Care, 2022. 102 – 113. ISSN 2516-9122

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Identification Number: 10.31389/jltc.124


Context: There is very little research on the impact of caring on physical health, and the evidence that exists is mixed. There is also lack of evidence on the role of other factors including both socio-economic factors and the role played by care services and unmet needs for such services. Aims: This study aims to understand the association between physical health outcomes among unpaid carers in the United Kingdom compared to individuals who have not provided unpaid care, and investigate what is the role that time, and unmet needs for care services play in this relationship. Methods: We used four waves of the UK Household Longitudinal Survey, a large representative sample, covering the period 2015 to 2020. We performed Propensity Score Matching to compare health outcomes of carers against non-carers and Latent Class Analysis to identify different typologies of unpaid carers. Results: We found that the relationship between care provision and physical health is complex, that effects on health may differ between the short and medium run, and that deprivation levels and unmet need for services play an important role. Conclusion: This research contributes original insights into our understanding of the impact of different care trajectories on the health of the carer taking into consideration the characteristics of care-recipients, the effect of unmet needs, and external factors. This is crucial both in relation to their ability to provide support and in terms of their own care needs and is therefore of direct relevance to policy and practice to support unpaid carers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 23 May 2022 15:39
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 11:12

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