School of Education


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Featured research impact summary

Young and adult carers

Young carerBackground

The 2011 Census confirmed that around 6 million people in the UK provide unpaid care for elderly, disabled or sick loved ones.

Research at the University of Nottingham has led to the development of three psychometric self-report tools that can be used for the assessment of caring activities and caring outcomes in children, young people, and adults.

The three psychometric instruments have been widely adopted, transforming daily practice for hundreds of social and care practitioners. Organisations concerned with both young and adult carers now recommend the psychometric instruments, use them in their own assessments, and use them to monitor the effectiveness of their services.

This usage has resulted in new indicators and best practice measures for young and adult carers, and significantly impacted on the quality, cost-effectiveness and accessibility of public services, thus improving quality of life, health and wellbeing for millions of people.

The research

Measures for young carers

The team were awarded £23,000 by Comic Relief to develop and validate two psychometric instruments to assess the amount and types of caring roles undertaken by young people, and the positive and negative outcomes of caring. The Multidimensional Assessment of Caring Activities Checklist (MACA-YC18) is a short, easy to use instrument that provides an index of the extent of caring activities that the young person is currently engaged in. The Positive and Negative Outcomes of Caring Questionnaire (PANOC-YC20) is a self-report questionnaire assessing the subjective cognitive and emotional impact of caring on young people. 

Measures for adult carers
The team were awarded £60,000 by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers (now the Carers Trust) to develop a psychometric scale to assess both the positive and negative aspects of caring in adults. The Adult Carers Quality of Life Questionnaire (ACQoLQ) is a 40-item instrument that captures carers’ quality of life across 8 domains: support for caring, caring choice, caring stress, money matters, personal growth, sense of value, ability to care and carer satisfaction.

The impact

Over 500 young carers and nearly 400 adult carers were involved in the development, testing and validation of these instruments. The tools can be used on a one-off basis for the purpose of assessment or for pre- and post-intervention assessments to measure change and the impact of support. 

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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