Editorial

Author: Sue Yeandle1
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  • 1 University of Sheffield, UK
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Welcome to Volume 6, Issue 3 of the International Journal of Care and Caring (IJCC). Our August 2022 issue includes peer-reviewed articles on care and caring by authors based around the world – in Australia, Ghana, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the UK.

In ‘Looking beyond hours of care: the effects of care strain on work withdrawal among Australian workers’, researchers at the University of Sydney (Andreea Constantin, Myra Hamilton, Nate Zettna, Marian Baird, Daniel Dinale, Lisa Gulesserian and Alison Williams) (Constantin et al, 2022) discuss new research that advances understanding of the nexus between unpaid care and paid work for carers of a person with disability, illness or frailty in old age. The authors explore the relationship between care intensity (measuring both hours of care and care strain) and withdrawal from work (measuring reductions in hours of paid work and withdrawal from career development and progression). Their novel analysis shows that in the Australian setting, care strain is more strongly related to all aspects of work withdrawal than hours of caring. They also find that a ‘family-supportive work environment’ moderates the relationship between care strain and work withdrawal. The article reveals important ways in which workplace culture can potentially mitigate the effects of work–care conflict.

Our second article, by Rebecka Strandell and Anneli Stranz (Stockholm University, Sweden) (2022), discusses ‘Dimensions of job precariousness and associations with workers’ health and well-being in Swedish homecare’. The authors note that few previous studies of precarious work have focused specifically on paid care work. Their new analysis reveals ‘multidimensional precariousness’ among care workers and finds that indicators of job precariousness are associated with major problems for care workers: physical and mental strain; poor work–life balance; and intentions to quit. Their analysis highlights time pressure, weak job control and limited possibilities to develop and use skills, and the difficulties care workers experience in creating and maintaining relations with the people they support.

‘Views of Generation Z regarding care and care careers: a four-country study’, our third article, offers fascinating insights based on an international collaboration. Ann Gallagher (University of Exeter, UK) and co-authors in Ireland (Aoife Lane and Caroline Egan [University College Cork]), Japan (Katsumasa Ota [Tohto University], Keiko Aoishi [Kumamoto University] and Natsuki Nakayama [Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine]), Russia (Nataliya Kasimovskaya, Elena Fomina, Natalia Geraskina and Anna Shalakhova [Sechenov University]) and the UK (Anna Cox [University of Surrey]) (Gallagher et al, 2022) note that while life expectancy is increasing in many parts of the world – bringing greater need for care in response to health conditions, global emergencies and health disparities – there is a shortage of skilled caregivers. Their study investigated views of ‘care’ and ‘care careers’ among Generation Z (the next generation to join the workforce), producing data on four cross-cultural themes: conceptualising care; objects and subjects of care; recognising the challenges of care; and appreciating care work. Their data, discussed in relation to Tronto’s analysis of care, not only illuminate Generation Z’s commitment to care, but also indicate that organisational and political action to attract young people into care careers is needed.

Our fourth article is by Seerat Shirazi, Gary Fry and Sahdia Parveen (University of Bradford, UK) (2022), who discuss ‘Family carers’ perceptions of behavioural and psychological symptoms in people living with dementia’. They observe that while it is known that people living with dementia may experience ‘distressed’ behaviours, most research on their distressed reactions has been conducted in residential settings. Their study, based on in-depth interviews, explores how family carers of people living with dementia make sense of distressed reactions in home settings and the strategies they adopt to manage these. Their analysis focuses on understandings of, and perceived causes of, distressed reactions and on the consequences and management of these reactions. The authors call for specific support for carers in this group to help them provide appropriate care.

‘Contextualising everyday ethics in social care work based on two case studies of Norwegian long-term care’, by Nordic scholars Karen Christensen (Roskilde University, Denmark and University of Bergen, Norway) and Mariya Bikova (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences) (Christensen and Bikova, 2022), focuses on the patterns of difficult ethical situations that arise when ageing populations and long-term care policies put pressure on the work of social care. Applying a ‘micro-ethics’ perspective and using a theoretical framework that connects this to macro-sociological contexts, they combine the concept of ‘moral distress’ (observed among healthcare professionals) with feminist ethics. Drawing on two case studies included in an ethnographic study of long-term care in Norway, they find connections between ethically difficult moments and bureaucratic, managerialist and de-professionalised models of social care work.

From Ghana, Kofi Awuviry-Newton, Jacob Oppong Nkansah, Abraham Newton and Kwamina Abekah-Carter (researchers based at the African Health and Ageing Research Centre, Ghana’s University of Education and the University of Ghana) (Awuviry-Newton et al, 2022) discuss ‘Older people’s long-term care experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana: a qualitative descriptive study’. Based on a qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with 15 older people in Southern Ghana, they examine older people’s long-term care experiences. Their study generates interrelated themes concerning: the sources and types of older people’s long-term care; satisfaction with care received; changes in care; feelings of neglect; and resilience. The authors conclude that in Ghana, the sustainability of long-term care depends on the state’s ability to devise innovative policies and programmes that promote older people’s and their carers’ well-being.

Our next article, ‘The impact of culture and religion on pathways of help seeking and support among family carers of older adults with mental illness’, is by Fatimah Zailly Ahmad Ramli (Universiti Utara Malaysia), Cheryl Tilse and Jill Wilson (both University of Queensland, Australia) (Ahmad Ramli et al, 2022). Their qualitative study explored the influence of Malay culture and religion on how family carers of older adults with mental health problems seek support in rural Malaysia. Based on semi-structured interviews with family carers of older adults diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder, they find that family carers may find support through cultural and religious beliefs and practices, and show how carers manage the intersection of culture and religion with psychiatric treatment for their family members with mental illness.

Our final article in this issue, ‘The value of data visualisation: tracking geographies of informal care in Ireland, 2002–16’, is by Ronan Foley (Maynooth University, Ireland) and Zoe Hughes (Care Alliance Ireland) (Foley and Hughes, 2022). Their focus is on data that support and inform policy and funding associated with informal/unpaid/family caring. They observe that although evidence of inequality is often expressed in geographical variations between places, past research on unpaid care has focused little on how such variations can be visualised and analysed. Their article maps data from Irish censuses between 2002 and 2016, aiming to explore and visualise patterns of caring (including high-intensity caring) and the potential of spatial techniques (such as location quotients and clustering), and identifies potential links between variable geographical distributions of caring and changes in legislation and policy for carers in Ireland over the same timescale.

Our Debates and Issues section in this issue contains contributions from Canada and the UK. Readers are reminded that shorter items in the Debates and Issues section of the IJCC are very welcome from contributors from within and outside academia, including practitioners, carers and advocacy groups. All accepted items in this section become permanently available, free to view online, to support widespread engagement with topics on care and caring of interest around the globe.

We thank Allison Williams (McMaster University, Canada) and Jeanne Bank (Canadian Standards Association) (Williams and Bank, 2022) for their contribution, ‘Support for working carers across the globe: the development of international standardised guidelines for the workplace’. In this, they discuss the development, significance and global relevance of the new International Standards Organization standard designed to enhance organisational support for employees with caring responsibilities. The authors note its alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and discuss challenges in the development and implementation of the new standard.

In ‘Challenges of research with carers in a hospital setting in Australia: trialling the Carer Readiness Tool’, Sian White and Suzanne Lewis (New South Wales Central Coast Local Health District, Australia) (2022) discuss the implementation of a new tool developed to help carers of people with cancer and renal conditions. The tool assesses carers’ readiness to provide care to a patient on discharge from acute care. The authors discuss variations in carers’ concerns and needs, and how these are affected by their experience of caring. The tool reveals the importance of practical matters (such as mobility, transfers, aids and equipment), as well as concerns regarding access to respite from caring, end-of-life care and the costs of caring.

We are very grateful also for this issue’s book reviews. These are provided by Rick Sullivan (University of Sydney, Australia), who reviews Fiona MacDonald’s book Individualising Risk: Paid Care Work in the New Gig Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), and Katherine Zwerger (University of Birmingham, UK), who reviews Doing Relationship-Centred Dementia Care: Learning from Each Other for Better Dementia Support by David I.J. Reid (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2021).

Finally, as always, warm thanks to everyone in the journal’s editorial team, to our peer reviewers who add so much to the quality of our journal and to the journal’s production team.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  • Ahmad Ramli, F.Z., Tilse, C. and Wilson, J. (2022) The impact of culture and religion on pathways of help seeking and support among family carers of older adults with mental illness, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 42540, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16415750758531.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Awuviry-Newton, K., Nkansah, J., Newton, A. and Abekah-Carter, K. (2022) Older people’s long-term care experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana: a qualitative descriptive study, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 40924, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16316397347134.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Christensen, K. and Bikova, M. (2022) Contextualising everyday ethics in social care work based on two case studies of Norwegian long-term care, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 392408, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16345698940490.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Constantin, A., Hamilton, M., Zettna, N., Baird, M., Dinale, D., Gulesserian, L. and Williams, A. (2022) Looking beyond hours of care: the effects of care strain on work withdrawal among Australian workers, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 31834, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16393997978971.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foley, R. and Hughes, Z. (2022) The value of data visualisation: tracking geographies of informal care in Ireland, International Journal of Care and Caring, 2002–16, 6(3): 44154, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16359698882193.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gallagher, A., Lane, A., Egan, C., Ota, K., Aoishi, K., Nakayama, N., Kasimovskaya, N., Fomina, E., Geraskina, N., Shalakhova, A. and Cox, A. (2022) Views of Generation Z regarding care and care careers: a four-country study, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 35577, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16308608299691.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shirazi, S., Fry, G. and Parveen, S. (2022) Family carers’ perceptions of behavioural and psychological symptoms in people living with dementia, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 37891, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16387999415042.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strandell, R. and Stranz, A. (2022) Dimensions of job precariousness and associations with workers’ health and well-being in Swedish homecare, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 33554, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16349200319640.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • White, S. and Lewis, S. (2022) Challenges of research with carers in a hospital setting in Australia: trialling the Carer Readiness Tool, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 4618, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16426117732990.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, A. and Bank, J. (2022) Support for working carers across the globe: the development of international standardised guidelines for the workplace, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 45560, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16498691269944.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ahmad Ramli, F.Z., Tilse, C. and Wilson, J. (2022) The impact of culture and religion on pathways of help seeking and support among family carers of older adults with mental illness, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 42540, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16415750758531.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Awuviry-Newton, K., Nkansah, J., Newton, A. and Abekah-Carter, K. (2022) Older people’s long-term care experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana: a qualitative descriptive study, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 40924, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16316397347134.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Christensen, K. and Bikova, M. (2022) Contextualising everyday ethics in social care work based on two case studies of Norwegian long-term care, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 392408, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16345698940490.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Constantin, A., Hamilton, M., Zettna, N., Baird, M., Dinale, D., Gulesserian, L. and Williams, A. (2022) Looking beyond hours of care: the effects of care strain on work withdrawal among Australian workers, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 31834, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16393997978971.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foley, R. and Hughes, Z. (2022) The value of data visualisation: tracking geographies of informal care in Ireland, International Journal of Care and Caring, 2002–16, 6(3): 44154, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16359698882193.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gallagher, A., Lane, A., Egan, C., Ota, K., Aoishi, K., Nakayama, N., Kasimovskaya, N., Fomina, E., Geraskina, N., Shalakhova, A. and Cox, A. (2022) Views of Generation Z regarding care and care careers: a four-country study, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 35577, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16308608299691.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shirazi, S., Fry, G. and Parveen, S. (2022) Family carers’ perceptions of behavioural and psychological symptoms in people living with dementia, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 37891, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16387999415042.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strandell, R. and Stranz, A. (2022) Dimensions of job precariousness and associations with workers’ health and well-being in Swedish homecare, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 33554, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16349200319640.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • White, S. and Lewis, S. (2022) Challenges of research with carers in a hospital setting in Australia: trialling the Carer Readiness Tool, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 4618, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16426117732990.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Williams, A. and Bank, J. (2022) Support for working carers across the globe: the development of international standardised guidelines for the workplace, International Journal of Care and Caring, 6(3): 45560, doi: 10.1332/239788221X16498691269944.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 1 University of Sheffield, UK

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