Kieninger, Judith; Trukeschitz, Birgit; Wosko, Paulina; Pleschberger, Sabine (2019): Mapping the domains and influencing factors of quality of life in informal carers of community-dwelling older adults, Discussion Paper 1/2019. WU Research Institute for Economics of Aging, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

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BACKGROUND: Over the past decades, research interest has increased in exploring quality of life (QoL) and well-being of informal caregivers who provide support for home-dwelling older people. However, as the concepts are very broad and all encompassing, a wide range of interpretations exist, resulting in differences in understanding of QoL and influencing factors. *** AIM: By following the scientific discussion over the last 20 years, this literature review maps differences in the understanding of QoL of informal carers and explores the benefits, losses, and wide-ranging impact of caregiving on the living situation of the informal carers. In detail, it aims to (i) identify the relevant domains and aspects associated with QoL and well-being of informal caregivers providing care for older people living at home and (ii) to map the variety of influencing factors affecting the QoL and well-being of informal carers. *** METHOD: This study follows a scoping review that allows for integrating a diversity of relevant literature and studies using different methodologies. In total, 42 qualitative and quantitative studies were included in the review. The literature search was conducted during the months of November 2018 and March 2019. *** RESULTS: Three core domains related to caregiving could be identified as most relevant in empirical studies focusing on overall QoL or well-being: the physical, psychological, and social dimensions of life. Additional domains highlighted in the literature related to work/ daily routine, spirituality/religion, or financial security. Major influencing factors that were discussed included gender, education, and financial status of the carer, personal resources, informal and formal support, health condition of the care recipient, relationship between carer and care recipient and socio-cultural factors. Study designs were not particularly sensitive to certain subgroups of informal carers and only one study explicitly focused on caregiving experiences of non-relatives. *** CONCLUSIONS: The caregiving process needs to be understood as a complex and individual experience, which has to be considered in evaluations of QoL and well-being of informal carers. Researchers need to be aware that the conceptualization of QoL and the selection of domains to be involved has a substantial impact on shaping results and policy implications. Further, future research should consider to what extent public or family support translates into benefits for informal carers’ QoL, and which areas of life are affected by such support. Due to the lack of literature on informal non-kin carers, more studies are needed to understand how informal care impacts lives and how this differs from family care.

Item Type: Monograph (Other)
Subjects: OEBIG > Gesundheitsberufe und Langzeitpflege
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2020 12:26
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 12:26