Table of contents

Evidence of what works

Adults :: Carers :: Evidence of what works

The literature on support interventions for carers shows a wide range of interventions have been tried to support carers of people with a variety of different conditions, with mixed results. The provision of short breaks to carers has been shown to have beneficial effects; one particular intervention showed that short breaks for families of disabled children led to a positive impact on the wellbeing of most disabled children and their families.[1] There is also evidence to show that cognitive reframing can have some effect on anxiety, depression and subjective stress in dementia carers.[2]

Providing primary care teams with training and awareness of issues faced by carers can be successful. Options to increase identification of carers may include routinely asking about whether someone is a carer at new registrations and routine health checks, or on repeat prescriptions. Carer support workers may be helpful in providing carers with advice and signposting to relevant agencies.[3] For hospital patients, comprehensive discharge planning, which includes both patients and their carers has been found to be related to shorter hospital stays and reduced re-admissions.[4]


[1]   Robertson J, Hatton C, Wells E, et al. The impacts of short break provision on families with a disabled child: an international literature review Health and Social Care in the Community 2011; 19(4): 337-371.
[2]   Vernooij-Dassen M, Draskovic I, McCleery J, et al. Cognitive reframing for carers of people with dementia (review) 2011; The Cochrane Library (no. 11). .
[3]   Arksey H, Hirst M. Unpaid carers' access to and use of primary care services Primary healthcare research and development 2005; 6: 101-116.
[4]   Bauer M, Fitzgerald L, Haesler E, et al. Hospital discharge planning for frail older people and their family. Are we delivering best practice? A review of the evidence Journal of Clinical Nursing 2009; 18: 2539-2546.