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Caring for others: A qualitative study of the positive aspects of caring and coping strategies used by the caregiver

Williamson, Christine (2013) Caring for others: A qualitative study of the positive aspects of caring and coping strategies used by the caregiver. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

There are six million people in the UK providing care and it is suggested that without these unpaid caregivers, the NHS would collapse and the country would face a £119 billion care bill, (Carers Trust, 2012). Although most people will at some time in their lives provide care, the personal cost can be high and a literature review revealed that previous research had focused mainly on the negative aspects of caregiving. The aim of this study was to explore the positive experiences of seven heterogeneous caregivers who cared for diverse care recipients. A qualitative research method used semi-structured interviews as a means of obtaining information regarding the subjective experiences of these caregivers. Thematic analysis identified nine themes relating to the objectives of this study; the positive aspects they derived from caregiving, the effects it had had on their lives and the strategies they used to cope. The implications found from this study were that helpful interventions were needed and readily available information was required, as the number of caregivers is expected to rise to 9 million by 2037. It is acknowledged that this study is small and further qualitative and quantitative research is needed to illuminate future informal care requirements.

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