Barbara Horrell

Doctor of Philosophy, (Arts)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Exploring informal caregivers' health needs from a capability perspective

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Mrs Horrell’s research explored the health needs of informal caregivers providing eldercare in New Zealand. Comprising two studies, the first study considered caregivers' capability to achieve vital goals, including self-care and wellbeing. The results highlighted that caregiving is a social relationship and that caregivers' emotions influence their decision making and the sacrifices they make. A second study focused on the role of emotions in everyday life, demonstrating that being able to care for a loved one was important, as indicated by compassion, attentiveness and commitment to providing competent care. The participants' approach to self-care and their own wellbeing was inseparable from the wellbeing of the person being cared for. These findings have important implications for social policy aimed at improving informal caregivers' health while caring for older people.

Professor Christine Stephens
Associate Professor Mary Breheny