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The Effect of Informal Caregiving on Depression: An Asymmetric Panel Fixed-Effects Analysis of In-Home and Out-Of-Home Caregivers Across Europe

Published 5.5.2024

Abstract

Previous research has shown that providing intensive informal care can have a negative effect on an individual's mental health. However, few studies have been able to draw a precise comparison between the experiences of in-home and out-of-home caregivers. This study used data from 16 countries collected from 2011-2019 as part of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to conduct asymmetric panel fixed-effects models that examined within-person variation in depression scores after a respondent started providing daily or almost daily personal care either inside or outside of their home. The results substantiated previous findings that in-home caregivers experience more pronounced increases to their reported depressive symptoms after starting to provide daily personal care than do out-of-home caregivers. In addition, in-home caregivers in countries with greater governmental responsibility for long-term care provision (The Northern and Central Clusters) reported fewer increases to their depressive symptoms after starting to provide care than caregivers in countries where long-term care responsibility predominantly rests on families (The Southern and Eastern Cluster). Further, Northern Cluster countries most successfully shrank the pool of out-of-home care providers. Together, these findings underscore the context-specific nature of caregiver wellbeing.

Full text (tandfonline.com)

Authors

Andreas Nolan, Katri Aaltonen, Mirkka Danielsbacka

Additional Information

  • Peer-Reviewed: yes.
  • Peer-Reviewed: yes.
  • Cite as: Nolan, A., Aaltonen, K., & Danielsbacka, M. (2024). The Effect of Informal Caregiving on Depression: An Asymmetric Panel Fixed-Effects Analysis of In-Home and Out-Of-Home Caregivers Across Europe. Journal of aging & social policy, 1–19. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/08959420.2024.2348968

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