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Care And Life Management Study
What The Study Involves
The aim of the study is to assess how effective the new carer support intervention is in reducing the burden of care for carers. By burden we mean stress that might result from caring. We intend to do this by comparing it with support that is normally offered to carers by nurses. We will also determine how effective the intervention is in meeting carers' support needs and in increasing carers' satisfaction.

This study will be carried out by 40 community mental health nurses from the local authority areas of Perth, Dundee, Angus and Fife. It is expected that they will provide support to 82 carers from within these areas.

Carers will be randomly allocated to receive either the new support intervention or support as usual. Carer outcome measures (e.g. burden) will be gathered during a face-to-face interview at baseline, immediately after the intervention and at six months follow-up. Carers will also be asked to assess whether or not their expectations were met during each visit. Carers' experiences of the interviews will also be assessed in more depth. This involves interviewing some carers who benefited from each intervention and some carers who did not benefit from each intervention.

All information which is collected about carers and nurses during the course of the study will be kept strictly confidential.

Ethical Issues

Appropriate ethical approval was sought from the Tayside and Fife Committee on Medical Ethics. Nurses delivering support as normal will be offered training following completion of the 6 month follow-up period. Carers receiving support as normal will be offered the new intervention after the nurse training is complete.
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