College of Public Health

MPH Student Justin Kearley Co-Authors Textbook Chapter


Justin Kearley, epidemiology student in East Tennessee State University College of Public Health Master of Public Health program, has co-authored a chapter in the textbook, Bridging the Family Care Gap.  The chapter, “Public health perspectives on the family care gap,” discusses the anticipated shortfall between the number of people who will need care or assistance because of chronic conditions or disability and the number of family members and friends in the community available to provide that care.

The author of the book, Joseph Gaugler, is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Center on Aging at The University of Minnesota.  Authors of the chapter include members of Appalachian State University, Oregon Health & Science University, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The chapter details the public health perspective on caregiving and strategies to reduce the impending family care gap. It explains why caregiving is a public health issue and presents a framework for considering caregiving from a public health perspective. As described in this chapter, caregivers provide a vital source of community-based care for older adults and people with disabilities. They help with a range of tasks that might include shopping, paying bills, bathing and dressing, managing medications, and getting around in the community.

Bridging the Family Care Gap explores expected future shortages of family caregivers of older persons and identifies potential solutions. The book examines the sustainability and availability of care management models and whether they can be effectively scaled up to meet community needs. This edited volume also explores lay healthcare workers as guides, interpreters, and advocates in healthcare systems that provide continuity of contact for family caregivers.