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Ambiguous gain: uncertain benefits of service use for dementia carers


Lloyd, BT and Stirling, C, Ambiguous gain: uncertain benefits of service use for dementia carers, Sociology of Health and Illness: A Journal of Medical Sociology, 33, (6) pp. 899-913. ISSN 0141-9889 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01332.x


Community services for carers of people with dementia can assist in relieving caregiver burden and delay the institutionalisation of the person with dementia. Under some conditions, however, engagement with dementia services may produce unintended negative consequences, resulting in increased confusion and a reduction of agency for carers. Drawing on an analysis of three salient aspects of caregiver identities, this paper examines specific instances and consequences of ‘ambiguous gain’, defined as ‘a putative or demonstrated benefit that, as an unintended outcome, results in increased uncertainty and a consequent reduction of agency or wellbeing at the level of individual or collective identity’. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for policy and practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dementia carers, identity, ambiguous gain
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Family care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lloyd, BT (Dr Barbara Lloyd)
UTAS Author:Stirling, C (Professor Christine Stirling)
ID Code:70229
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-06-10
Last Modified:2012-03-19

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