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Keywords:

  • caregivers;
  • intervention;
  • physical disability;
  • support;
  • systematic review;
  • Thailand

Abstract

In developing countries family caregivers are an important community-based resource who provide care for physically disabled adults. Substantial caregiving commitment is known to adversely affect caregiver health and thereby their capacity to provide ongoing care. This systematic review focused on support interventions for caregivers using Thailand as an example. From 1964 to 2011 international and Thai electronic databases and relevant grey literature were searched. Six English papers and 34 Thai papers published between 1990 and 2010 were found. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool was modified to appraise methodological quality. All nurse-led interventions mainly focused on improving caregiving capacity; nearly half considered caregiver health. Only 15 interventions were community-based. Despite variable research quality all studies showed benefits for caregivers, care recipients, and healthcare services. In developing countries without healthy caregivers physically disabled adults would not receive care. There is an urgent need for further investment in community-based research to develop effective interventions designed to promote caregiver health and help them maintain their role.