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Ethnic differences in satisfaction with social care amongst older carers of stroke survivors

The study, led by Dr Nan Greenwood, explored the perceptions and experiences of 57 older informal carers of stroke survivors of social care, and was funded by the National Institute of Health Research School of Social Care Research (NIHRSSCR).

Findings from health and social services satisfaction surveys in England indicate that users from black minority and ethnic (BME) groups generally describe themselves as less satisfied than White British users but the reasons for this are poorly understood.  The aim of the study was therefore to increase understanding of the experiences of older BME carers in accessing and engaging with social care services.

The carer participants were recruited from the voluntary sector and the St George’s Hospital stroke unit and included Black African, Black Caribbean, Asian Indian, Asian Pakistani and White British carers. They took part in interviews and focus groups.
The study found similar expectations and experiences across all of the five ethnic groups studied although there were increased challenges for those whose English was not their first language. Carers reported many difficulties in accessing and engaging with services often feeling that they were the best people to care for the stroke survivors. Poor continuity hampered relationship building and was particularly important for BME carers.

The findings highlighted the importance of good home care, as it can provide opportunities for social interaction for both carers and stroke survivors but carer workers were often perceived as rushing. The researchers therefore recommended training for care workers to include more emphasis on the human aspects of care, e.g. kindness, relationship building and empathy.

To read more of the findings from ‘A qualitative exploration of ethnic differences in satisfaction with social care amongst older carers of stroke survivors’, click here.