Unmet needs in young adults with a parent with a chronic condition: a mixed-method investigation and measure development study

Wendy Nicholls*, Pandora Patterson, Fiona E.J. McDonald, Nicholas J. Hulbert-Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rationale: Given the high number of young adults caring for a family member, and the potential for adverse psychosocial outcomes, there is a need for a screening tool, with clinical utility, to identify those most vulnerable to poor outcomes and to aid targeted interventions. Objectives: (i) To determine whether current knowledge from cancer literature regarding young carers is generalisable to chronic conditions and, therefore, whether an existing screening tool could be adapted for this population. (ii) To develop a measure of unmet needs in this population and conduct initial psychometric analysis. Design: This was mixed method; interviews in study one informed measure development in study two. Inclusion criteria were as follows: having a parent with a chronic condition and being aged 16–24 years. In study 1, an interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted on interviews from seven young adults (age range 17–19 years). Study 2 explored factor structure, reliability and validity of the Offspring Chronic Illness Needs Inventory (OCINI). Participants were 73 females and 34 males (mean ages 18.22, SD = 1.16; 18.65, SD = 1.25). Main outcome measures: OCINI, Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, and the Adult Carers Quality of Life Scale. Results: Interviews communicated that the impact of their parent's condition went unacknowledged and resulted in psychosocial, support and informational needs. An exploratory principal axis analysis of the OCINI yielded five factors. Significant and positive correlations were found between unmet needs and stress, anxiety, and depression, and inversely with quality of life. Conclusions: The scale has applications in clinical settings where these young people, who are at risk of negative psychological outcomes, may be assessed and unmet needs targeted appropriately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • adult children
  • anxiety
  • caregivers
  • chronic disease
  • depression
  • quality of life

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