Understudied Topics

Family
In recent years, summaries of priorities for future caregiver research have been devised by multi-disciplinary forums. One such summary is Moving the Research Agenda Forward in Family Caregiving (Metlife Mature Market Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving, 2007). The report is available online.


Priorities in caregiving research that are particularly important for psychologists are:

  1. The impact of caregiving on human development and family relationships over time.
  2. The long-term impact of caregiving stress on health, especially biological outcomes and mortality
  3. The long-term effects of caregiving interventions on well-being, health, and mortality of caregivers
  4. The long-term effects of caregiving interventions on well-being, health, secondary complications, and mortality, and nursing home placement among care recipients
  5. Development of measures that assess problems that are important to family caregivers and appropriate targets of change after caregiver intervention
  6. Understanding the mechanisms through which caregivers interventions may have beneficial effects on care recipients
  7. Culturally-sensitive interventions and the effects of acculturation on caregiving among individuals from various ethnic backgrounds
  8. Cost-benefit studies of caregiver interventions
  9. Interventions that reach the entire network of family caregivers, not just the primary caregiver
  10. Interventions to address the needs of long-distance caregivers
  11. The translation of evidence-based caregiving interventions into real-world care provision environments
  12. Special needs of caregivers from diverse cultural backgrounds and effective ways of addressing those needs via interventions and policies
  13. Special needs of caregivers for diverse diseases, disabilities, and populations, and effective ways of addressing those needs via interventions and policies
  14. Understanding the particular caregiver burdens in families with hereditary disease syndromes.
  15. Differential caregiving burden on single parents versus partnered or married parents of ill children
  16. Understanding the differential impact of caregiving on fathers versus mothers of ill children