Feeling that life is not worth living (death thoughts) among middle-aged, Australian women providing unpaid care

O'Dwyer, Siobhan T, Moyle, Wendy, Pachana, Nancy A., Sung, Billy and Barrett, Susan (2014) Feeling that life is not worth living (death thoughts) among middle-aged, Australian women providing unpaid care. Maturitas, 77 4: 375-379. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.01.013


Author O'Dwyer, Siobhan T
Moyle, Wendy
Pachana, Nancy A.
Sung, Billy
Barrett, Susan
Title Feeling that life is not worth living (death thoughts) among middle-aged, Australian women providing unpaid care
Journal name Maturitas   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-4111
0378-5122
Publication date 2014-04-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.01.013
Volume 77
Issue 4
Start page 375
End page 379
Total pages 5
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To identify the proportion of female carers who experience death thoughts and the factors associated with these thoughts, using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH).
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of the fifth ALSWH survey was conducted. 10,528 middle-aged women provided data on caring and death thoughts, 3077 were carers and 2005 of those were included in the multivariate analysis.
Results: 7.1% of female carers had felt life was not worth living in the previous week and were classified as having experienced death thoughts, compared with 5.7% of non-carers (p =.01). Carers with death thoughts had poorer physical and mental health, higher levels of anxiety, lower levels of optimism, and reported less social support (p <.01). In a multivariate model social support, mental health, carer satisfaction, and depressive symptoms significantly predicted death thoughts. Carers with clinically significant depressive symptoms were four times more likely to experience death thoughts than those without. Carers who were satisfied with their role were 50% less likely to have experienced death thoughts than those who were dissatisfied.
Conclusions: A small but significant proportion of female carers experience death thoughts and may be at risk for suicide. These findings add to the growing body of evidence on suicide-related thoughts and behaviours in carers and have implications for health professionals and service providers.
Keyword Suicidal ideation
Caregivers
Mental health
Depression
Death thoughts
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 01 Apr 2014, 11:09:47 EST by System User on behalf of School of Psychology