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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2008 Mar;117(3):164-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01148.x. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

A review of instruments developed to measure outcomes for carers of people with mental health problems.

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1
Department of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, Reading University, School of Psychology, Reading, UK. k.n.harvey@reading.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Community-based care for mental disorders places considerable burden on families and carers. Measuring their experiences has become a priority, but there is no consensus on appropriate instruments. We aimed to review instruments carers consider relevant to their needs and assess evidence for their use.

METHOD:

A literature search was conducted for outcome measures used with mental health carers. Identified instruments were assessed for their relevance to the outcomes identified by carers and their psychometric properties.

RESULTS:

Three hundred and ninety two published articles referring to 241 outcome measures were identified, 64 of which were eligible for review (used in three or more studies). Twenty-six instruments had good psychometric properties; they measured (i) carers' well-being, (ii) the experience of caregiving and (iii) carers' needs for professional support.

CONCLUSION:

Measures exist which have been used to assess the most salient aspects of carers outcome in mental health. All require further work to establish their psychometric properties fully.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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