Representative survey of the needs of family carers

New Knowledge on relief and support for family carers in Switzerland.


As part of a nationwide and representative survey of the population, family carers are being asked in writing about their situation and their needs in terms of support and respite. People are to be selected at random from the register containing the resident Swiss population and written to accordingly (based on the sample frames for surveys of individuals and households proposed by the Federal Statistical Office). This quantitative survey will make it possible to record important demographic and situational aspects and analyse the individual subgroups concerned. The idea is not just to draw up profiles of those concerned, but also categorise their needs.

A representative survey of the population will make it possible to study family carers from a variety of social backgrounds and across the generations – from children through to senior citizens.  What makes the project special is how family carers, from various age groups, will be consulted as experts throughout the research process, from putting together the questionnaire to assessing the results.

The results of the survey will undergo statistical assessment and then be put into context – as regards the current body of research (both for Switzerland and at an international level) and the structural situation in Switzerland. A kind of catalogue of requirements should emerge accordingly, with measures then derived from these for policymakers to consider. The results can also be used to develop what is on offer locally.

Project team

  • Careum Research: Prof. Dr. iur. Agnes Leu (Lead), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Otto, Prof. Dr. Iren Bischofberger,  Regina Gerlich, Dr. Marco Riguzzi 
    (until 02/18: Hannah Wepf, Anna Hegedüs)
  • gfs bern: Lukas Golder, Cloé Jans


Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), support programme “relief offers for relatives providing care”


Förderprogramm «Entlastungsangebote für betreuende Angehörige» (German)
Programme de promotion «Offres visant à décharger les proches aidants» (French)
Programma di promozione di offerte di sgravio per chi presta aiuto ai propri congiunti (Italian)


July 2017–June 2019 (24 months)


Careum School
of Health
Research Institute

Pestalozzistrasse 5
CH-8032 Zurich

T +41 43 222 50 00