What seems to matter in public policy and the health of informal caregivers? A crosssectional study in 12 European countries
In Europe, informal caregiving is frequent and is expected to grow. Caregiving has an impact on caregivers’ health, but its effect may vary according to the policies of support that are available to caregivers. The aim of this study was to assess the association between the policies of support to caregivers available in 12 European countries and the health of caregivers, considering separately the policies based on financial help and those based on training and other non- financial services. We used data from 13,507 caregivers from 12 European countries from the fifth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to build a path model. Poor health among caregivers was associated with living in a family-based care country (β = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.42–0.59), and with an increased extent of caregiving (β = 0.18; 95% CI = 0.15–0.22). Non-financial support measures seem to have a larger protective impact (β = –0.33; 95% CI = –0.38 - –0.28) on the health of caregivers than do financial support measures (β = 0.03; 95% CI = 0.01–0.04), regardless of the gender of the caregiver. According to our results, the currently available policies of support associated with better health among caregivers are those that: 1) provide them with some free time, 2) help them to deal emotionally with caregiving, and 3) give them skills to both improve the care situation and to deal with it better.
Informal caregivers; European public policy; Public health surveillance
Calvó-Perxas L, Vilalta-Franch J, Litwin H, Turró-Garriga O, Mira P, Garre-Olmo J. What seems to matter in public policy and the health of informal caregivers? A cross-sectional study in 12 European countries. PLoS One. 2018 Mar 8;13(3):e0194232.
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