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Study shows mental health of unpaid carers deteriorated more during lockdown than non-carers

THE mental health of unpaid carers deteriorated more during lockdown than that of non-carers, according to a new study.

Researchers in Scotland found that unpaid carers who looked after another member of their household had poorer mental health than the general population before lockdown and that this worsened.

The research led by scientists at the University of Glasgow examined data from 9,737 adults to explore changes in mental health between pre-pandemic and early restrictions, and also between subsequent lockdowns.

While the mental health of home carers of children under 18 improved from April to July, there was a “marked worsening” in those caring for adult children.

Researchers said the results demonstrate the mental health of home carers, which was already poor pre-pandemic, has been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and associated mitigation measures.

Lead researcher Dr Elise Whitley said: “This research shines a spotlight on the challenges facing informal carers before and during the pandemic. 

“As restrictions on travel and hospitality are relaxed for the general population, priority should also be given to restarting and creating services that support carers and protect their mental and physical health.”

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