Aim: This study looks at the objective and subjective characteristics of home respite service provision and its impact on the informal care burden of dependent elders.
Method: A sample of 296 dependent people and their informal caregivers was randomly selected among users and non-users of the Home Help Service (HHS) in an autonomous Spanish region (Comunidad Valenciana). An experimental design was used and a field study was carrying out that collected information on sociodemographic variables of the dependent person and his/her caregiver, HHS characteristics and the assessment of the services delivered by this resource as well as the informal caregivers'burden.
Results: The results show that the services of this resource are very limited, with low cover and frequency, and they do not address the real dependency needs in specific activities of daily living. However, users and caregivers are satisfied with this care and experience a higher quality of life since it was implemented, although the HHS does not alleviate informal caregivers' stress.
Conclusion: These data show the need to extend the services delivered by the HHS and the duration of care, address the caregiver's need for psychological care, and look at potentially modifiable variables in the care context when designing prevention and psychosocial intervention programmes to lessen the informal caregiver's burden.