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Stressors and common mental disorder in informal carers--an analysis of the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007

Stansfeld, S; Smuk, M; Onwumere, J; Clark, C; Pike, C; McManus, S; Harris, J; (2014) Stressors and common mental disorder in informal carers--an analysis of the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. Social Science & Medicine , 120 pp. 190-198. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.025. Green open access

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Abstract

This study investigates potential explanations of the association between caring and common mental disorder, using the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007. We examined whether carers are more exposed to other stressors additional to caring--such as domestic violence and debt--and if so whether this explains their elevated rates of mental disorder. We analysed differences between carers and non-carers in common mental disorders (CMD), suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts, recent stressors, social support, and social participation. We used multivariate models to investigate whether differences between carers and non-carers in identifiable stressors and supports explained the association between caring and CMD, as measured by the revised Clinical Interview Schedule. The prevalence of CMD (OR=1.64 95% CI 1.37-1.97), suicidal thoughts in the last week (OR=2.71 95% CI 1.31-5.62) and fatigue (OR=1.33 95% CI 1.14-1.54) was increased in carers. However, caring remained independently associated with CMD (OR=1.58 1.30-1.91) after adjustment for other stressors and social support. Thus caring itself is associated with increased risk of CMD that is not explained by other identified social stressors. Carers should be recognized as being at increased risk of CMD independent of the other life stressors they have to deal with. Interventions aimed at a direct reduction of the stressfulness of caring are indicated. However, carers also reported higher rates of debt problems and domestic violence and perceived social support was slightly lower in carers than in non-carers. So carers are also more likely to experience stressors other than caring and it is likely that they will need support not only aimed at their caring role, but also at other aspects of their lives.

Type: Article
Title: Stressors and common mental disorder in informal carers--an analysis of the English Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.025
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.09.025
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Keywords: Carers, Common mental disorders, Mental health, Social support, Socioeconomic status, Stress, Suicide, Adult, Aged, Caregivers, England, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Social Class, Social Support, Stress, Psychological
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > IoN RLW Inst of Neurological Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1450356
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