Researchers often have to walk a fine line between confirming what is known informally or seems to be common sense, and wasting their own time and everyone else's confirming what is beyond doubt. Just to add spice to the mix, occasionally a common-sense question will turn out to be wrong, and throw everybody into a spin.
But, I mean, really:
SANE Australia has published the results of a survey which shows that "Over 50 per cent of people caring for a family member with a mental illness report much worse physical and mental health themselves, because of the lack of support they receive in that role," according to SANE deputy director Paul Morgan. He said the findings were shocking.
They are. But, quite frankly, the shocking finding is that only "over 50 per cent" reported much worse physical and mental health. I would have expected it to be much worse than that. Entire government service schemes are set up and funded to support carers. The national Carer Respite program, to pick the most obvious. Ill health in carers of people with any disability has been common knowledge for decades now.
Did they really think that they were looking at anything new, or were they just trying to get a still-under-resourced issue back in the headlines?
The research bulletin and media release from www.sane.org can be found here.