Health and Social Care

Textbooks, monographs and policy-focused books on our Health and Social Care list push forward the boundaries of teaching, theory, policy and practice. The list covers areas including global health, health inequalities and research into policy and practice. 

Key series include Transforming Care which provides a crucial platform for scholars researching early childhood care, care for adults with disabilities and long-term care for frail older people, and the Sociology of Health Professions, offering high-quality, original work in the sociology of health professions with an innovative focus on their likely future direction. Our leading journal in the area is the International Journal of Care and Caring.

Health and Social Care

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The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the extreme vulnerability of the human being and the importance of care within the framework of a social state. This crisis has also brought pre-existing inequalities to light, showing that it is mainly women who continue to take up the tasks of care as they have always done. Indeed, care work has always been carried out by women and this dedication has contributed to diminishing the exercise of other rights, so it is essential to take on the tasks of care by the family and the State in a co-responsible manner. This problem has been taken into consideration by the studies on constitutional reform in Spain in order to prepare a text that includes the right to care, and the rights of caregivers as well. The purpose of this work is to highlight this need and to make proposals to improve the Spanish constitutional framework.

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Family carers have high rates of stress, anxiety and depression, but there are also positive aspects of caregiving. The aim of this study is to explore correlates of caregiving competence, a positive aspect of caregiving, in 146 female family carers. Regression analyses identify that self-efficacy for controlling upsetting thoughts, caregiver preparedness and self-reassurance were significantly related to caregiving competence, after controlling for contextual variables. These findings indicate that mental health practitioners working with family carers should target positive psychosocial mechanisms, along with factors directly related to the caregiving situation, to enhance carer well-being and promote sustainable care.

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This study examines whether care workers in Finland feel able to provide adequate care for older people and analyses the working conditions that limit them from providing it. One third of the respondents felt that they were not able to provide sufficient care for older people. This was seen as being due to excessive workloads, a general lack of staff and accompanying physical and mental burdens. Improving care workers’ working conditions would enhance their work–life balance and allow them to help older people avoid situations of care poverty, that is, to receive the level of care they deserve.

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Eldercare arrangements are intricately woven and complex. While adult children are socially extolled as legitimate caregivers, ayahs working in ayah centres are making revolutionary strides in Kolkata. Drawing across this context, the article explores multiple essences of lived experiences through which care actors like ayahs, elderly care receivers, their kin and ayah-centre managers produce and reproduce ‘care practices’. These establish ayahs and ayah centres as a social resource for the elderly, enabling them to reflect on their mundane ageing and ‘personhood’ in Kolkata.

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Caregiving for persons with severe mental health disorders is associated with higher stress levels and a lower quality of life. As rates of mental health disorders increase worldwide, the need for assisting familial caregivers with strategies to reduce stress is paramount. The present study examines the relationships between empathy (cognitive and affective), emotional intelligence and stress in these caregivers. A parallel mediation model demonstrates that cognitive empathy, in particular, partially mediated the negative relationship between emotional intelligence and stress, indicating the importance of cognitive empathy in caregiving. The results of this study can help design targeted interventions to reduce caregiver stress.

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