Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Six NAtional SUrvey REports (NASUREs) and a Trans-EUropean Survey REport (TEUSURE), describing the main findings emerging from the survey on 5.900 family carers

Using the data collected on 1,000 care situations in each of the six involved countries, multivariate data analyses have been carried out to evaluate the situation of family carers of older people in relation to the existence, availability, use and acceptability of supporting services. The results emerging at a national level have been transposed into six NAtional SUrvey REports (NASUREs), while those comparing cross-national differences and commonalities have come together in the Trans- EUropean Report (TEUSURE).

The analysis have been based on three main types of variables measured and put in relation to each other: a) Dependent variables related to the situation of the caregiver in terms of burden of care suffered from as well as the satisfaction from caregiving; b) Independent variables concerned with all types of support the caregiver may or may not receive; c) Context variables measuring the situation (socio-demographics of caregiver and cared-for person, relation of caregiver and cared for person, grade of frailty, informal support network available etc.) that influence the effectiveness of each support measure in reducing the care burden.

The analysis of the qualitative data deriving from the semi-structured interviews with 250 service providers in the six involved countries (text-memos, interview-transcriptions) has instead used the method of qualitative content analysis, in order to structure and cluster the openly described experience, attitudes and opinions of service providers

The main chapters of the both NASUREs and TEUSURE follow a common structure, which can be summarised as follow. After an introduction on the project’s main purposes,

Chapter 2 provides an overview on the state of the art of the literature on support services for family carers of older people in Europe, focussing on the partnership approach and including the national literature existing in the 6 countries.

Chapter 3 describes the EUROFAMCARE Common Assessment Tool (CAT) in detail, clarifying the development of items and instruments, questionnaire pilots, item transformation and the psychometric characteristics of scales used.

Chapter 4 deals with the sampling and recruitment procedures followed in the different countries and discusses the problem of representativeness.

In chapter 5 an overview of the main characteristics of the national samples is presented, showing both the profile of the cared-for older people and of the family carers in terms of socio-demographics, employment status, financial situation, caring situation, health and quality of life.

Chapter 6 develops a typology of caregiving situations in Europe, using a cluster analysis approach, thus providing a first answer to one of the core questions of the project, concerning the relation between care situations, motivations for care and willingness to continue caring.

In chapter 7 the analyses focus on family carers experience in the use of services and take up of allowances, including costs, preferences and satisfaction aspects. This chapter gives unprecedented insight into questions such as service availability, carers experiences in using them, barriers that prevent carers from using support services and ability of services to reach those most in need of support.

The aim of chapter 8 is to add the providers’ perspectives to the family carer’s views, by describing the care providers’ experience. The study results focus on coverage, usage, access and costs from the provider’s perspective, describing the importance of quality characteristics and types of service as well as expected future developments.

In Chapter 9 the one-year Follow-up study provides an important longitudinal dimension to the research, which allows taking into account the dynamic nature of care and the need to understand the use and value of services over time.

Chapter 10 summarises the main findings and the implications of these findings for family carers, service providers and policy makers. This synthesis aims at helping politicians and decision-makers in different European countries to understand the critical importance of supporting family carers in the coming decades, improving their situation and increasing available support measures, thus maintaining family carers’ high motivation and ensuring that they remain a valuable resource in the growing work of caring.

The in-depth knowledge from the six chosen countries, covering different welfare and socio-economic systems, offers the potential to other countries of using the findings as a guide to: best target support; identify which family carers are most in need of support; point out what types of support and services are mostly lacking; clarify how to create more user-oriented services.

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