Mental health of mother carers across the caregiving trajectory

Due to their prolonged caregiving role, parent carers face exceptional challenges and have very different circumstances from those people who come to care for relatives following onset of illness or trauma-related disability. Prolonged caregiving may be a particular risk for mental ill-health. However, there is a clear lack of robust evidence on the prevalence and determinants of mental ill-health in mother carers of a son/daughter with learning disabilities across all stages of the caregiving trajectory, and the factors that compound or mitigate against it. This information is needed so services can deliver the right support, in the right place, when it is most needed.

What we will do
This cross-sectional case-controlled cohort study will analyse linked routinely collected data, from different sources. Mothers caring for a son or daughter with learning disabilities will be matched with the general population (on age of female, neighbourhood deprivation (SIMD) and gender of child (depending on research question)).

We will also investigate the extent to which individual (e.g. education), household (e.g. type of accommodation) and child (e.g. mental health) characteristics mitigate or compound the risk of mental ill-health in mothers overall and at each stage of the caregiving trajectory, including post caregiving.

The caregiving trajectory will be categorised into three groups,

      1.  Caring for a child (0-15 years)
      2.  Caring for an adult (16–54 years),
      3.  Caring for an older adult (55+ years).

For further information on this research, please contact Kirsty Dunn.

Page updated 23 August 2022