Growing up with a Chronically Ill Family Member-The Impact on and Support Needs of Young Adult Carers: A Scoping Review

Hinke M. van der Werf*, Marie Louise A. Luttik, Alice de Boer, Petrie F. Roodbol, Wolter Paans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


This scoping review provides an overview of the impact of growing up with a chronically ill family member on young adults (18-25 years old), and their specific needs. Young adults represent an important life stage involving a transition to adulthood, during which individuals' family situations can affect their future. We searched relevant studies following the guideline of Arskey and O'Mailley's methodological framework and the PRISMA statement guidelines for scoping reviews in PubMed, PsychInfo and reference lists to identify articles for inclusion. Studies from 2005 to 2020 were included in this review. Of the 12 studies, six qualitative studies, five quantitative studies and one mixed method study were included. Eight studies discussed the impact, including consequences at a physical and mental level, at their personal development and future perspectives, but also positive effects, such as being capable of organizing their lives. Four studies discussed the needs of young adult carers, including emotional needs, support needs with regard to stimulating autonomy (arising from internal conflicts) and developing their own identity, and the concerned attitude of involved professionals. An unambiguous definition of the target group and further well-designed research are needed to improve clarity about the role of support, so that future professionals can adequately address the needs and wishes of young adults who grow up with an ill family member.

Original languageEnglish
Article number855
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13-Jan-2022


  • informal care
  • young adult carers
  • growing up with care
  • impact
  • needs
  • support
  • scoping review
  • LIFE

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