Caregiving: Perspectives, Experiences and Challenges

Stefano Eleuteri (Editor)
Department of Psychology, Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy

Series: Health Care in Transition
BISAC: MED011000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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A caregiver (usually also known as informal caregiver) is an often unpaid and without formal training (in the related disease) member of a person’s social network who helps them with activities of daily living. Caregiving is most commonly used to address impairments related to old age, disability, a disease or a mental disorder.

Typical duties of a caregiver might include taking care of someone who has a chronic illness or disease; managing medications or talking to doctors and nurses on someone’s behalf; helping to bathe or dress someone who is frail or disabled; or taking care of household chores, meals or processes both formal and informal documentation related to health for someone who cannot do these things alone.

With an increasingly aging population in all developed societies, the role of caregiver has been increasingly recognized as an important one, both functionally and economically. Caregiving reflects various possible experiences with potentially infinite perspectives. Many organizations that provide support for persons with disabilities have developed various forms of support for carers as well. However, different challenges for this category of people are still strong: it involves changes within the family system, and some caregivers may not possess the necessary resources to deal with caregiving demands. Many caregivers assume the caregiver role with little or no preparation and have to learn to deal with several aspects of care in a very short time. Literature shows that informal caregivers tend to experience more depressive symptoms and poorer physical health outcomes in comparison to non-caregivers. Moreover, informal caregivers have been repeatedly acknowledged as a model of chronic stress, due to the high level of daily stress that caregivers experience.

All of these changes may lead to a set of biopsychosocial disorders named as burden, which results from the obligation to provide care, specifically within the context of a chronic or long-term disease. Caregiver burden has been conceptualized using a multidimensional perspective, in terms of physical, emotional, social and financial difficulties/problems experienced by the caregiver.

In this state of the art, this book aims to present some challenges caregivers may encounter during their role, suggesting also some possible perspectives useful for clinicians to address the different experiences of informal caregivers, also connected to the different pathologies the patients they care to suffer from and to the different relationships they have with them.
(Imprint: Nova Medicine and Health)


Chapter 1. Burden and Posttraumatic Growth in Adult Caregivers of Cancer Patients
(Ricardo João Teixeira, PhD, Tânia Brandão, PhD, and M. Graça Pereira, PhD, Department of Education and Psychology, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal, and others)

Chapter 2. Depression and Its Correlates in Non-Professional Female Caregivers Caring for Dependent Persons
(Ángela Torres, MD, Fernando Vázquez-Asper, Vanessa Blanco, PhD, Patricia Otero, PhD, Lara López and Fernando L. Vázquez, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Radiology, Public Health, Nursing and Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and others)

Chapter 3. Costs Derived from the Consumption of Health Resources and Loss of Productivity in Non-Professional Caregivers
(Fernando L. Vázquez, PhD, Lara López, Vanessa Blanco, PhD, Patricia Otero, PhD, and Ángela Torres, MD, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and others)

Chapter 4. Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults with Hip Fracture: The Role of Educational Courses
(Maria Eduarda Batista de Lima, Stefano Eleuteri and Paolo Falaschi, Fragility Fracture Network, Education Committee Nurse Member, and others)

Chapter 5. In Caregivers’ Hands: Interpersonal Touch and Contact within Caring
(Enrico De Luca, PhD, Educational Research. Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)

Chapter 6. Socio-Economic Status of Caregivers of Hemodialysis Patients
(Georgia Gerogianni and Eirini Grapsa, Department of Nursing, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece, and others)

Chapter 7. Caregiving Partners with Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases: Psychological, Relational and Sexual Impact
(Stefano Eleuteri, Roberta Rossi and Chiara Simonelli, Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy, and others)


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