Lockdown seriously affecting the mental health of informal carers

Family carers for children and adults with intellectual disabilities have reported rates of mental health problems under lockdown that are up to 10 times higher than parents without those responsibilities, a new study has found.

They were five times more likely to report severe anxiety, and between four and ten times more likely to report major depression, compared to parents who did not have caring responsibilities for children with intellectual disability.

The challenges faced by informal carers - usually mothers - of children and adults with intellectual disability have been largely overlooked during the coronavirus crisis.

Dr Biza Stenfert Kroese and Professor John Rose, of the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, have been one of a team, working to document the mental health of informal carers of children and adults with intellectual disability during the coronavirus pandemic through an online study. The project team was led by Professor Paul Willner from the University of Swansea and included researchers from the Universities of Warwick and Kent.

The team analysed 244 online surveys, which were completed during the strict lockdown period by carers of adults with intellectual disability, of children with intellectual disability, and a comparison group of carers for children without intellectual disability.


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