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Patients' relatives are ignored by the health system and suffer emotional stress
Date:2/21/2008

This release is available in Spanish.

There are people who have traditionally been forgotten in the field of health. However, they are vitally important for patients well-being: they are the family caregivers in hospitals. A study carried out at the Department of Social Anthropology of the University of Granada and led by lecturer Rafael Briones Gmez, shows that Spanish hospitals are not adapted to caregivers who look after their sick relatives, since most of them suffer from emotional stress during their stay in hospital.

The conclusion of this research work, which was led by doctor Aurora Quero Rufin, have been drawn from 45 interviews conducted with people who look after their relatives admitted to the Hospital Ruiz de Alda of Granada. Therefore, the researcher determined that family caregivers play an active role in hospitals daily life, in which they take part intensely. She has also established that the tasks they execute are extremely important for patients health, as they are especially related to hygiene and feeding. Apart from this, she underlines watchfulness and company, as they are personal support tasks that nobody but them can carry out.

Invisible people

Quero Rufin states that family caregivers are invisible to the health system within the hospital, in spite of the fact that they are used as a resource and basic support for its structure. The study, carried out at the University of Granada, reveals that, although relatives lighten health professionals workload, such as nurses and health assistants, the medical staff does not take family caregivers knowledge into account while performing their work duties, i.e. treatment and care of sick people.

Thanks to the answers of the interviewees, th
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Contact: Aurora Quero Rufin
auropa@gmail.com
34-958-121-484
Universidad de Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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