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Relationships between informal caregiving, health and work in the Health and Employment After Fifty study, England

Relationships between informal caregiving, health and work in the Health and Employment After Fifty study, England
Relationships between informal caregiving, health and work in the Health and Employment After Fifty study, England
Background: to investigate the prevalence of caregiving, and its relationship with work, health, and socio-economic circumstances in the Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) study.

Methods: the HEAF study comprises 8,134 men and women aged 50-64 years recruited from 24 general practices. Socio-demographic, lifestyle, and health characteristics, and hours/week giving personal care were elicited by postal questionnaire. Objective clinical information about diagnoses/medications was retrieved from health records. Work-related and health risk factors for intense caring responsibilities (≥20 hours/week vs no hours) were explored using logistic regression with adjustment for age and social class.

Results: 644(17%) men and 1153(26%) women reported caring responsibilities, of whom 93 and 199 were intense caregivers, who were: more likely to be socio-economically disadvantaged; less likely to be working; and, if combining caring with working (41 men, 90 women), more likely to be part-time/working shifts, than non-carers. Men caring ≥20 hours/week were more likely to have COPD and to report musculoskeletal pain, poor/fair self-rated health, depression and sleep problems. Among working women, caring ≥20 hours/week was associated with these same health outcomes and also with a doctor-diagnosed mental health problem or musculoskeletal pain in the previous year.

Conclusions: caregiving is common and unequal in the HEAF cohort, with more high-intensity informal care provided by those with greater levels of socio-economic deprivation, which could affect their employment and health. Caregivers need support to lead long, healthy lives, rather than becoming care needers themselves. Employers and governments need to take caregiving into account and support it actively.
1101-1262
799–806
Harris, E. Clare
3e4bd946-3f09-45a1-8725-d35e80dd7971
D'angelo, Stefania
13375ecd-1117-4b6e-99c0-32239f52eed6
Syddall, Holly Emma
a0181a93-8fc3-4998-a996-7963f0128328
Linaker, Catherine
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Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Harris, E. Clare
3e4bd946-3f09-45a1-8725-d35e80dd7971
D'angelo, Stefania
13375ecd-1117-4b6e-99c0-32239f52eed6
Syddall, Holly Emma
a0181a93-8fc3-4998-a996-7963f0128328
Linaker, Catherine
6c6d1b90-ee40-4c96-8b2e-b06efbe030ae
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109

Harris, E. Clare, D'angelo, Stefania, Syddall, Holly Emma, Linaker, Catherine, Cooper, Cyrus and Walker-Bone, Karen (2020) Relationships between informal caregiving, health and work in the Health and Employment After Fifty study, England. European Journal of Public Health, 30 (4), 799–806. (doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckaa078).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: to investigate the prevalence of caregiving, and its relationship with work, health, and socio-economic circumstances in the Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) study.

Methods: the HEAF study comprises 8,134 men and women aged 50-64 years recruited from 24 general practices. Socio-demographic, lifestyle, and health characteristics, and hours/week giving personal care were elicited by postal questionnaire. Objective clinical information about diagnoses/medications was retrieved from health records. Work-related and health risk factors for intense caring responsibilities (≥20 hours/week vs no hours) were explored using logistic regression with adjustment for age and social class.

Results: 644(17%) men and 1153(26%) women reported caring responsibilities, of whom 93 and 199 were intense caregivers, who were: more likely to be socio-economically disadvantaged; less likely to be working; and, if combining caring with working (41 men, 90 women), more likely to be part-time/working shifts, than non-carers. Men caring ≥20 hours/week were more likely to have COPD and to report musculoskeletal pain, poor/fair self-rated health, depression and sleep problems. Among working women, caring ≥20 hours/week was associated with these same health outcomes and also with a doctor-diagnosed mental health problem or musculoskeletal pain in the previous year.

Conclusions: caregiving is common and unequal in the HEAF cohort, with more high-intensity informal care provided by those with greater levels of socio-economic deprivation, which could affect their employment and health. Caregivers need support to lead long, healthy lives, rather than becoming care needers themselves. Employers and governments need to take caregiving into account and support it actively.

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Caring paper final EJPH 23032020 accepted - Accepted Manuscript
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ckaa078 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 April 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 June 2020
Published date: 1 August 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439370
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439370
ISSN: 1101-1262
PURE UUID: c9479f9f-750b-4920-aa71-16223130bcfd
ORCID for E. Clare Harris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8037-566X
ORCID for Stefania D'angelo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7267-1837
ORCID for Holly Emma Syddall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0171-0306
ORCID for Catherine Linaker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1091-9283
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for Karen Walker-Bone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5992-1459

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 05:18

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Contributors

Author: E. Clare Harris ORCID iD
Author: Stefania D'angelo ORCID iD
Author: Cyrus Cooper ORCID iD

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