Informal care and the impact on depression and anxiety among Swedish adults: a population-based cohort study
- Stratmann M, Forsell Y, Möller J, Liang Y.
- Informal care and the impact on depression and anxiety among Swedish adults: a population-based cohort study
- BMC Public Health
- DOI: 10.1186/s12889-021-11246-1
BACKGROUND: As the population is ageing, the need for informal caregivers increases, and thus we need to know more about the effects on caregivers. This study aims to determine both cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between perceived limitation of informal caregiving and mental health of caregivers.
METHODS: This population-based cohort study was based on the Swedish Psykisk hälsa, Arbete och RelaTioner (PART) study, and 9346 individuals aged 18-65 were included. Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews and Swedish registers. Informal care was defined as care given to a family member. Self-reported and diagnosed depression and anxiety were included as outcomes. Covariates included sex, age, social support and socio-economic position. Ordinal logistic regression and Cox regression were performed to determine the associations between caregiving and anxiety or depression.
RESULTS: Self-reported depression and anxiety was only increased among those experiencing limitations (adjusted odds ratios [aOR] 2.00, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.63-2.47 for depression; aOR 2.07, 95% CI 1.57-2.74 for anxiety) compared to those not giving care, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) were increased for diagnosed depression (aHR 1.97, 95% CI 1.27-3.05) and for diagnosed anxiety (aHR 1.86, 95% CI 1.06-3.25) among those giving care and experiencing limitations, compared to those not giving care. No significant associations were found in caregivers without limitations. CONCLUSION: Caregivers experiencing limitations showed a significant association with short- and long-term anxiety and depression. This study implies the importance of exploring the degree to which informal caregiving can be provided without adding burden to caregivers.