Werk en mantelzorg | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 31, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Work and informal care: a risk for mental health?

Work and informal care: a risk for mental health?

This study aims to increase insight in how providing informal care is associated with mental health among employees. The focus is on to what degree the provision of informal care, directly or in interaction with work and organizational characteristics, has an impact on the level of mental fatigue as indicator of mental health. Data are derived from 8,435 employers in fifty companies who completed an online questionnaire provided by the Association Work&Care. Of all employees, 23% provides informal care to someone in need of care and, on average, this group experienced a higher level of mental fatigue compared to non-caring employees. Multivariate multilevel analyses show that providing informal care has a unique and direct effect on mental fatigue, in addition to characteristics of work (working fulltime, work motivation) and the support perceived in the organization. Moreover, the lack of support and few opportunities to discuss informal care increase the level of mental fatigue more among informal caregivers than among non-caring employees. It is concluded that providing informal care may harm the mental health of employees, and that an open and understanding organizational culture enables employees to better combine tasks in work and informal care.


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