Location of Repository

General practitioners and carers: a questionnaire survey of attitudes, awareness of issues, barriers and enablers to provision of services

By Nan Greenwood, Ann Mackenzie, Ruth Habibi, Christine Atkins and Ray Jones

Abstract

Abstract\ud Background: Approximately one in ten of the UK population are unpaid carers supporting a family member or\ud friend who could not manage without their help, saving the UK economy an estimated £87 billion. This role is\ud known to sometimes have a negative impact on carers and to require support both informally and from statutory\ud services. General practice is a first point of contact for carers but research investigating general practitioners� (GPs�)\ud attitudes towards carers and awareness of issues facing carers is rare. This study therefore aimed to identify GPs�\ud attitudes, awareness of issues, and perceptions of the barriers and enablers to provision of services.\ud Methods: Using a self-completion questionnaire distributed at a series of workshops, this study investigates GPs�\ud attitudes to carers; awareness and knowledge of carers� issues; services offered in general practice and barriers to\ud supporting carers.\ud Results: Seventy eight out of a total of 95 GPs (82% response rate) from a variety of areas in England completed\ud the questionnaires. The GPs identified time, resources and lack of knowledge as barriers, but only 9% agreed with\ud the statement that there is little support they can offer carers. However, nine in ten GPs (89%) feel they have\ud insufficient training here and approximately half of them (47%) lack confidence that they are meeting carers�\ud needs. Confidence in identifying carers is also low (45%). Issues that GPs would look out for amongst carers include\ud emotional and physical health problems and financial and isolation difficulties. GPs specifically highlighted\ud educational and isolation issues for young carers. Few services were described that targeted carers.\ud Conclusions: GPs recognise that they have an important role to play in supporting carers but would like training\ud and support. Further investigation is needed both to determine how best to train and facilitate GPs and general\ud practice teams in their role in supporting carers and to identify what carers need and want from general practice.\ud Identifying carers� leads or carers� champions amongst practice staff is possibly one way forward. Given the\ud proposed greater commissioning role for primary care, greater understanding here is particularly important

Topics: nursing
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.kingston.ac.uk:17894

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1998). BR: ’So much post, so busy with practice - so, no time!’: A telephone survey of general practitioners’ reasons for not participating in postal questionnaire surveys.
  2. (2009). Commission for Social Care Inspectorate (CSCI): The State of Social Care in England 2007-2008 Commission for Social Care Inspectorate,
  3. (2006). Fynn N: An exploratory study of GP awareness of carer emotional needs in Western Australia. BMC Fam Pract
  4. (2003). Hallberg IR: Loneliness as a predictor of quality of life among older caregivers.
  5. (2004). Health inequalities and informal care Social Policy Research Unit,
  6. (2008). Health: Carers at the Heart of 21st Century: Families and Communities Department of Health,
  7. Health: Quality and outcomes framework guidance London;
  8. (2009). Health: Report of the Standing Commission on Carers London; Department of Health;
  9. (2004). Hearts and minds: the health effects of caring.
  10. (1998). Ignored and invisible?
  11. (2001). Informal Carers - The role of general practitioners and district nurses.
  12. (2001). Informal carers and the primary care team.
  13. (2008). Informal carers of stroke survivors-factors influencing carers: a systematic review of quantitative studies. Disabil Rehabil
  14. (2009). It could be you: a report on the chances of becoming a carer Policy briefing. Carers UK;
  15. (2003). Loneliness and depression in spousal caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease versus non-caregiving spouses. Arch Psychiatr Nurs
  16. (2004). Research methods and statistics in psychology. 4 edition.
  17. (2004). S: Young carers in the UK Report.
  18. (2008). Trust for Carers and the Royal College of General Practitioners: Supporting Carers: An action guide for general practitioners and their teams. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers/Royal College of General Practitioners, Essex and London;
  19. (2005). Unpaid carers’ access to and use of primary care services.
  20. (2007). Valuing carers - Calculating the value of unpaid care Carers UK, London;

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.