Family caregivers and Health Care Providers: Developing Partnerships for a Continuum of Care and Support

Part of the Caregiving: Research • Practice • Policy book series (CARE)


Contrary to popular opinion, most American families do not abandon family members with chronic disease and disability to paid professionals and paraprofessionals. Family caregivers “…constitute the largest group of care providers” in the United states (Parish et al., Mental Retardation 41(3):174–187, 2003), and as they provide the majority of long-term care in this country, the market value of their activity far exceeds that spent on formal health care and nursing home care (Vitaliano et al., Current Directions in Psychological Science 13:13–16, 2004). The number of family caregivers will continue to increase as our society changes with an aging populace and an escalating rate of chronic, debilitating health conditions (Carter, Preventing Chronic Disease 5(1):1–2, 2008). As the number of caregivers in society increases and the health of care recipients is dependent upon the ability of the family caregivers to operate competently as de facto health care providers, the health and well-being of family caregivers is a public health priority (Talley and Crews, American Journal of Public Health 97:224–228, 2007). Yet, most health care service delivery systems and practitioners fail to acknowledge and affirm the central role families play in extending health care services.


Traumatic Brain Injury Health Care Provider Cerebral Palsy Family Caregiver Caregiver Burden 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This chapter was supported by grants to Timothy R. Elliott from the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (1 R01 HD37661-01A3); the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education (grant numbers H133B90016 and H133A021927); and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the Disabilities Prevention Program, National Center for Environmental Health (grant number R49/CCR412718-01).

The contents of this chapter are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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