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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

FERNANDEZ, M. Beatriz  and  HERRERA, M. Soledad. Health effects of dependent older people caregiving by family members. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2020, vol.148, n.1, pp.30-36. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872020000100030.

Background:

Care required by dependent older people is mostly provided by close family members. Caregiving is a demanding task, negatively affecting the physical and mental health of the caregiver.

Aim:

To describe the sociodemographic characteristics of informal caregivers of dependent elderly people in Chile and to evaluate the effect of providing care on the health of caregivers.

Material and Methods:

Data from the Economic Characterization Survey (CASEN) done in 2015 was used. Using as index cases older people who were receiving care from a family member, 4,313 informal caregivers were identified, whose characteristics were analyzed. Descriptive statistics and matching through propensity score were estimated, based on a logistic model, which included covariates such as sex, age, marital status, education, occupation, and income. Finally, the effect of being an informal caregiver versus not being a caregiver on the perception of health was calculated.

Results.

Forty four percent of the caregivers were offspring and 33.6% couples. Sixty seven percent were women, with a mean age of 56.5 years. Half of them had a partner, 43% had basic education or less, and 61% were inactive. Being a caregiver had a significant effect of health perception.

Conclusions:

People belonging to certain more vulnerable groups are more likely to assume caregiving. Providing care to a dependent older person has a negative effect on health perception.

Keywords : Aged; Caregivers; Patient Care.

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