Update in the research topic Informal and family caregivers

This topic is developed by researchers Rafael del Pino Casado, Antonio Frías Osuna, Pedro A Palomino Moral and Sara Moreno Cámara.

In 2001, we started our research topic on care provided in the context of the family, especially the care for dependent elderly people. The social and epidemiological need for this line is unquestionable due to the magnitude of the social phenomenon of dependency and to the fact that our system of care for dependent persons is based on the family and in women. In this way we try to understand caregivers stress and propose satisfactory solutions.

We have published more than 20 original articles in national and international journals such as BMC Geriatrics, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Nursing Schollarship, Index de Enfermería, Atención Primaria o Gaceta Sanitaria on issues such as coping with caregiving, motives for care, dedication to care or the consequences of care (anxiety, depression or overload). In our studies, we have used different quantitative and qualitative methodologies: meta-analysis and meta-synthesis, questionnaire designs, systematic reviews, cross-sectional studies… We have worked in two funded projects, the first studied the “Cultural factors in the motives for family care of dependent elderly people” and the second “Confrontation, subjective overload and anxiety and depressive symptoms in caregivers of dependent elderly relatives”, both directed by Lecturer Del Pino Casado.

The doctoral theses related to our line began with the work of Rafael del Pino, directed by Dr  Frías Osuna: “Cultural factors and subjective overload in the family care of dependent elderly”, which aim was to study the gender differences in care.

The thesis of Natalia Serrano Ortega, directed by Prof. Del Pino, wanted to measure the negative consequences of care: “Confrontation, subjective overload and anxiety and depressive symptoms in caregivers of dependent elderly relatives”; it has been developed in the health district of Jaén Norte.

The thesis of Ms. Margarita Pérez Cruz has been directed by Prof. Del Pino and is entitled “Determinants of anxiety in caregivers of dependent elderly relatives”, and it deepens the negative consequences of care, in this case anxiety; it has been developed on caregivers of patients of the Dr. Sagaz Hospital of the city of Jaén.

Sara Moreno Cámara did her thesis entitled: “Needs and problems of family caregivers of elderly people with dementia / Alzheimer’s disease: a qualitative study”. She has studied the process of caring for an elderly person affected by dementia and the problems that arise in the process; it was done with family caregivers in the province of Jaén. This thesis has been directed by professors Palomino Moral and Frías Osuna.

We have also carried out the study of the first phase of care through qualitative research based on meta-synthesis. This has been the central objective of Lourdes Moral Ferrnández’s thesis directed by Prof. Frías Osuna entitled “The first moments of family care: the process of becoming a caregiver of an elderly dependent family member”.

Ismael Frías Osuna has contributed to our group with his thesis “Quality and use of Spanish-language web pages with information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias for patients and caregivers “. This research studied the quality of available websites to support family caregivers of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It has been directed by the Profs Palomino Moral and Del Pino Casado.

Researchers of the group (from left to right); prof Del Pino, lecturer Palomino, Ms Lourdes Moral, Ms Esther Ruíz, prof Frías and prof Moreno.

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