Caregiver behaviors and resources influence child height-for-age in rural Chad.
The purpose of this study was to identify caregiver characteristics that influence child nutritional status in rural Chad, when controlling for socioeconomic factors. Variables were classified according to the categories of a UNICEF model of care: caregiving behaviors, household food security, food and economic resources and resources for care and health resources. Sixty-four households with 98 children from ages 12 to 71 mo were part of this study. Caregivers were interviewed to collect information on number of pregnancies, child feeding and health practices, influence on decisions regarding child health and feeding, overall satisfaction with life, social support, workload, income, use of income, and household food expenditures and consumption. Household heads were questioned about household food production and other economic resources. Caregiver and household variables were classified as two sets of variables, and separate regression models were run for each of the two sets. Significant predictors of height-for-age were then combined in the same regression model. Caregiver influence on child-feeding decisions, level of satisfaction with life, willingness to seek advice during child illnesses, and the number of individuals available to assist with domestic tasks were the caregiver factors associated with children's height-for-age. Socioeconomic factors associated with children's height-for-age were the amount of harvested cereals, the sources of household income and the household being monogamous. When the caregiver and household socioeconomic factors were combined in the same model, they explained 54% of the variance in children's height-for-age, and their regression coefficients did not change or only slightly increased, except for caregiver's propensity to seek advice during child illnesses, which was no longer significant. These results indicate that caregiver characteristics influence children's nutritional status, even while controlling for the socioeconomic status of the household. (+info)
The economic value of informal caregiving.
This study explores the current market value of the care provided by unpaid family members and friends to ill and disabled adults. Using large, national data sets we estimate that the national economic value of informal caregiving was $196 billion in 1997. This figure dwarfs national spending for formal home health care ($32 billion) and nursing home care ($83 billion). Estimates for five states also are presented. This study broadens the issue of informal caregiving from the micro level, where individual caregivers attempt to cope with the stresses and responsibilities of caregiving, to the macro level of the health care system, which must find more effective ways to support family caregivers. (+info)
Involving consumers in assessing service quality: benefits of using a qualitative approach.
Although important to users, practice standards rarely incorporate users' views of care provided. These views are a valuable source of information, even though there are limits to their value. To improve the standards of care in a 20 bed hospital elderly care unit caring for acute medical conditions a qualitative approach was used. Patients' and carers' perceptions of care and problems with the process of care in the unit were elicited with a specially designed semistructured interview schedule in 83 separate tape recorded interviews with a research nurse in patients' homes. In all, 50 patients and 35 carers were interviewed between 6 June 1991 and 28 May 1992. Of the 50 patients, 33 were female; seven patients were aged less than 80 years, 16, 80-85; 21, 86-90; and six over 90. A total of 16 patients lived with spouses or other carers, two with non-carers, and 32 lived alone, 18 of whom received informal care. Content analysis of the interviews disclosed patients' and carers' general satisfaction with individualised professional care and planning of follow up services on discharge but dissatisfaction in the lack of information about and involvement in treatment and care and about specific staff notes. These findings have prompted remedial changes in clinical practice in the unit; they have also formed the structure of a criterion based survey of practice. The authors conclude that the qualitative approach suited elderly users and also provided the basis for the findings to be incorporated into a continuous audit cycle through a process of feedback and standard setting. (+info)
Correlates of child care providers' interpretation of pediatric AIDS: implications for education and training.
A total of 212 child care providers residing in a southeastern state were surveyed about their knowledge and attitudes toward AIDS and child care policies. Providers' feeling about caring for an HIV-infected child, rather than their perceived knowledge of AIDS, were most consistently correlated with their factual knowledge and positive attitudes toward AIDS. These results suggest that providers may pay more attention to AIDS information and become more accepting of recommended child care policies when they are able to personalize AIDS within the context of their work with young children. Implications for education are discussed within the context of the Health Belief Model. (+info)
Longer term quality of life and outcome in stroke patients: is the Barthel index alone an adequate measure of outcome?
OBJECTIVES: To consider whether the Barthel Index alone provides sufficient information about the long term outcome of stroke. DESIGN: Cross sectional follow up study with a structured interview questionnaire and measures of impairment, disability, handicap, and general health. The scales used were the hospital anxiety and depression scale, mini mental state examination, Barthel index, modified Rankin scale, London handicap scale, Frenchay activities index, SF36, Nottingham health profile, life satisfaction index, and the caregiver strain index. SETTING: South east London. SUBJECTS: People, and their identified carers, resident in south east London in 1989-90 when they had their first in a life-time stroke aged under 75 years. INTERVENTIONS: Observational study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Comparison and correlation of the individual Barthel index scores with the scores on other outcome measures. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty three (42%) people were known to be alive, of whom 106 (86%) were interviewed. The median age was 71 years (range 34-79). The mean interval between the stroke and follow up was 4.9 years. The rank correlation coefficients between the Barthel and the different dimensions of the SF36 ranged from r = 0.217 (with the role emotional dimension) to r = 0.810 (with the physical functioning dimension); with the Nottingham health profile the range was r = -0.189 (with the sleep dimension, NS) to r = -0.840 (with the physical mobility dimension); with the hospital and anxiety scale depression component the coefficient was r = -0.563, with the life satisfaction index r = 0.361, with the London handicap scale r = 0.726 and with the Frenchay activities index r = 0.826. CONCLUSIONS: The place of the Barthel index as the standard outcome measure for populations of stroke patients is still justified for long term follow up, and may be a proxy for different outcome measures intended for the assessment of other domains. (+info)
Use of the GDS-15 geriatric depression scale as a screening instrument for depressive symptomatology in patients with Parkinson's disease and their carers in the community.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the level of depressive symptomatology in a community based group of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and their carers and to investigate the patient characteristics that might predict carer distress. METHODS: The GDS-15 geriatric depression scale was used to measure self-rated depressive symptoms in a group of 132 subjects with clinically probable PD randomly selected from a community-based disease register. Disease severity was assessed by the Webster scale and cognitive function by the CAMCOG test. Carers of the patients, who in this study were all spouses, were also asked to complete the GDS-15. RESULTS: A total of 64% of our group of patients and 34% of carers scored within the 'depressed' range on the GDS-15. Patients with high levels of depressive symptoms tended to have more severe disease, disease of longer duration and more impaired cognitive function. The GDS score of the carer was best predicted by the GDS score of the patient being cared for. Less than 10% of patients and carers were being treated with antidepressant medication. CONCLUSIONS: This community-based study confirms the high level of depressive symptoms in PD suggested by hospital- and clinic-based studies. Depression in patients appears to be related to disease severity and cognitive impairment. An important determinant of carer distress and mood disorder, as reflected by the GDS score, appears to be the level of depression expressed by the patient being cared for. Despite high levels of depressive symptoms in both patients and carers, very few subjects were in receipt of antidepressant drug therapy. (+info)
A survey of attitudes and knowledge of geriatricians to driving in elderly patients.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the attitudes of consultant members of the British Geriatrics Society to elderly patients driving motor vehicles. DESIGN: An anonymous postal survey assessing knowledge and attitudes to driving in elderly people. A standardized questionnaire was used and five case histories were offered for interpretation. SETTING: The study was co-ordinated from a teaching hospital. SUBJECTS: The 709 consultant members of the British Geriatrics Society. Four hundred and eighteen responses were obtained, which represents a 59% response rate. RESULTS: 275 Respondents (68%) correctly realised that a person aged 70 had a duty to inform the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) about their eligibility to drive. The remainder did not. Most (315; 75%) believed that the overall responsibility for informing the DVLA was with the patient. If a patient was incapable of understanding advice on driving because of advanced dementia, 346 (83%) would breach patient confidentiality and inform the authority directly. Where a patient was fully capable of understanding medical advice but ignored it, 72% of geriatricians would have legitimately breached patient confidentiality and informed the DVLA. Most geriatricians (88%) saw their main role as one of providing advice on driving to patients and their families. Enforcing DVLA regulations was not seen as an appropriate function, unless the patient was a danger to themselves or other drivers. CONCLUSIONS: There is a wide variation in knowledge of driving regulations and attitudes to driving in elderly patients. Better education of geriatricians should improve awareness of when elderly drivers can safely continue to drive. (+info)
Disagreement in patient and carer assessment of functional abilities after stroke.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to describe differences between functional ability assessments made by stroke patients and their informal carers and to investigate the psychological associates of the difference in assessments. METHODS: A prospective design was used, with repeated assessments of function, mood, and carer strain. Thirty hospital stroke patients and their main carer were interviewed 3 times: within 1 month of stroke, 1 month after discharge, and 6 months after discharge. RESULTS: There were significant differences between patient and carer assessments at all 3 time points, with patient self-assessment less disabled than carer assessment (at least P<0.02). The disagreement in assessment was unrelated to patient or carer mood (P>0.05) but greater disagreement was associated with greater carer strain (P<0.05). The source of the disagreement in functional ability assessment remains unclear. CONCLUSIONS: The method of assessment affects the rating of functional abilities after stroke. Carer strain is potentially increased when the patient or carer makes an unrealistic assessment of the patient's level of independence. (+info)