Back to top

Ensuring the Well-Being of caregivers

March 01, 2015

Chronic health conditions, or psychological or physical health conditions that persist for 3 months or longer (Newacheck & Taylor, 1992), are quite common. About half of all adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic health condition, and about 25% have two or more (Ward, Schiller, & Goodman, 2014). While arthritis and muscoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of activity limitations among working-age adults, psychological disorders are the second leading cause among individuals age 18-44 years old (National Center for Health Statistics, 2006). In 2007, approximately 39% of the nearly 41 million disabled individuals had mental disabilities, which include disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar and chronic depression (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007).

References & Citations

Cooke, D. D., McNally, L., Mulligan, K. T., Harrison, M. J. G., & Newman, S. P. (2001). Psychosocial interventions for caregivers of people with dementia: A systematic review. Aging & Mental Health, 5(2), 120- 135. 

Farran, C. J., Miller, B. H., Kaufman, J. E., & Davis, L. (1997). Race, finding meaning, and caregiver distress. Journal of Aging and Health, 9(3), 316-333. 

Gavin, L. & Wysocki, T. (2006). Associations of paternal involvement in disease management with maternal and family outcomes in families with children with chronic illness. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 31(5), 481-489. 

Harwood, D. G., Barker, W. W., Cantillon, M., Loewenstein, D. A., Ownby, R., & Duara, R. (1998). Depressive symptomatology in first-degree family caregivers of Alzheimer disease patients: A cross-ethnic comparison. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 12(4), 340-346. 

Lawton, M. P., Rajgopal, D., Brody, E., & Kleben, M. H. (1992). The dynamics of caregiving for a demented older elder among Black and White families. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 47, 156-164. 

Martire, L. M., Lustig, A. P., Schulz, R., Miller, G. E., & Helgeson, V. S. (2004). Is it beneficial to involve a family member? A meta-analysis of psychosocial interventions for chronic illness. Health Psychology, 23(6), 599-611. 

McDaniel, S. H. & Pisani, A. R. (2012). Family dynamics and caregiving for people with disabilities. In R.C. Talley & J.E. Crews (Eds.), Multiple dimensions of caregiving and disability: Research, practice, policy (pp. 11-28). 

National Center for Health Statistics. (2006). Health United States with chartbook on trends in the health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: Author. 

Newacheck, P. W., & Taylor, W. R. (1992). Childhood chronic illness: prevalence, severity, and impact. American Journal of Public Health, 82(3), 364–371. 

Rolland, J. (1994). Illness, families & disabilities. New York: Basic Books. 

Shah, A. J., Wadoo, O. & Latoo, J. (2010). Psychological distress in carers of people with mental disorders. British Journal of Medical Practitioners, 3(3), 327-334. 

Schulz, R. & Williamson, G. A. (1991). Two-year longitudinal study of depression among Alzheimer’s caregivers. Psychology and Aging, 6(4), 569-578. 

U.S. Census Bureau. (2007). 2007 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates: Disability Characteristics. Retrieved from http:// xhtml?pid=ACS_06_EST_S1801&prodType=table

Ward, B. W., Schiller, J. S. & Goodman, R. A. (2014). Multiple chronic conditions among U.S. adults: A 2012 update. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11, 130389. 

Wysocki, T. & Gavin, L. (2006). Paternal involvement in the management of pediatric chronic diseases: associations with adherence, quality of life, and health status. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 31(5), 501-511. 

Zarit, S. & Femia, E. (2008). Behavioral and psychosocial interventions for family caregivers. Journal of Social Work Education, 44(3), 47-53.