The quality of life of female informal caregivers: from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean Sea

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

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Publication details

DatePublished - May 2013
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York
Place of PublicationYork, UK
Number of pages29
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameCHE Research Paper
PublisherCentre for Health Economics, University of York
No.84

Abstract

We analyse the impact of the provision of care on the health and quality of life (QoL) of mature female informal caregivers using a representative sample drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We match each informal caregiver with a non-carer using Propensity Score matching and test whether matched individuals differ on self-assessed health and a functional indicator of QoL and whether this relationship differs across European regions. We find a North-South gradient both for self-assessed health and QoL and our results show that the provision of caregiving to close relatives in Europe impacts on the caregivers’ quality of life and health in a way that depends on their geographical location, the degree of formal care and specific cultural and
social factors of the area. We find that informal caregiving is a complex phenomenon which may bring both psychological rewards and distress to providers of care and this complexity, along with the geographical gradient highlight the importance of ensuring that policies match the needs of
individual carers in their own geographical areas and cultural contexts.

    Research areas

  • informal caregiving, quality of life, self-assessed health, Europe

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