An Evaluation of a Wellness Guide for Older Carers Living in the Community


Beverly O'Connell, School of Nursing, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Vic 3125, Australia. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objective: To assess the usefulness and effectiveness of a wellness guide and to identify whether its use by a group of older “new” carers would make them healthier and knowledgeable of community resources.

Design and Sample: Pretest, posttest measures of physical and mental health and a questionnaire with associated focus groups. A purposive sample of 21 older carers who were “new” carers was selected for the study.

Measures: Locus of control (LOC), Short Form 12, depression anxiety stress scale, and questionnaire.

Results: Participants embraced the wellness guide as an excellent resource. It changed their behavior and improved their health on LOC measures, although changes in physical and mental health were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: The wellness guide assisted carers' preparedness for their role and enhanced their sense of personal control over demanding situations.