LONGCROSSCARE - Coping with Caregiving among Primary Family Caregivers of Older Adults with Serious Medical Illness: A Cross-cultural Examination

General Overview

LONGCROSSCARE will conduct cross-cultural research to understand the challenges and coping strategies among primary family caregivers of older adults with serious illnesses. The project aims to discover whether knowledge of care support sources and preparation for increasing caregiving demands can help family caregivers cope with ongoing challenges, thus maximising overall quality of life during caregiving and beyond.

Purpose and Significance

Providing care for the global ageing population has become a public health concern. Families of older adults frequently serve as primary caregivers due to a combination of personal desire, cultural obligations, or insufficient access to community resources. The majority of these responsibilities disproportionately fall on women. How caregivers cope with these challenges can significantly affect the overall quality of life of both the older adult and the caregiver.

The project aligns with EUniWell’s Arena "Health and Well-being," as the primary focus is on achieving an optimal quality of life for both older adults and caregivers.

Implementation Method and Timeline

The study will use a mixed-methods design: a quantitative questionnaire for primary family caregivers and qualitative interviews with a subsample of those who participated in the quantitative survey and volunteered for further interviews. All interviews will be conducted in-person to maximise response rates and build better rapport with the participants during data collection. Interviews will be conducted by university students trained for this task, coming from disciplines such as social work, psychology, and nursing.

LONGCROSSCARE will prepare for the research from June to October 2024. Active data collection is scheduled for November and December 2024, followed by data analysis in spring 2025. The results are expected to be presented in May 2025.

Under the coordination of the University of Murcia, four EUniWell partners will participate in this project: the University of Cologne, the University of Florence, the University of Santiago de Compostela, and the University of Birmingham. Additionally, the University of Alabama is participating as an Associated Partner. LONGCROSSCARE contributes to the establishment of inter- and transdisciplinary studies and teams associated with well-being and with an inclusive design, involving faculty, students, professionals, older adults, and family caregivers from various regions of Europe, Alabama, and Colombia, thereby maximising cultural diversity.

Expected Outcomes

The results are expected to provide a better understanding of coping strategies, including perceptions of social support and planning for future care, among family caregivers in multiple countries. Cultural comparisons will allow for the examination of community strengths in each cultural context. Additionally, data collected from the project may support the further validation of an adapted scale for Preparation for Future Care among family caregivers, currently being pilot-tested.


Jesús A. Guillamón Ayala, Universidad de Murcia

Marina Llanos Olmos Soria, Universidad de Murcia

Ellen Csikai, University of Alabama