Caring: the costs to nurses and families

  • Sue Llewelyn
  • Sheila Payne


There is increasing evidence that providing care for seriously and chronically ill patients is both stressful and damaging to the health of the carer, whether that carer is a professional or not. This chapter outlines why and how these stresses and risks to health occur, and what can be done to alleviate such problems. Since carers can be found both within and outside the health professions, caring by both families and nurses will be considered. After a discussion of the general conceptual issues involved, the focus will be first on caring families and their problems, and next on the difficulties faced by nurses who work with the chronically or seriously ill. It will be seen that although some of the problems faced by different types of carers differ, many of the issues are similar. Some of the coping strategies that have been developed to help these two groups of carers will then be outlined. A particularly important issue that will be highlighted here is the lamentable absence of conceptual clarity of many of these interventions in reducing the cost of caring. Finally, some suggestions will be made for alternative ways of dealing with what is likely to become an increasing problem in the future.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sue Llewelyn
  • Sheila Payne

There are no affiliations available

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