Characteristics of Male Family Caregivers in Japan and Their Sense of Care Burden, Capacity to Deal with Stress, and Subjective Sense of Well-Being


This study aimed to clarify the characteristics of Japanese male family caregivers in terms of their sense of care burden, their capacity to deal with stress, and their subjective sense of well-being. A survey consisting of questionnaires and interviews was conducted from March to May 2014 in the subjects’ homes. Subjects were 27 Japanese males (the age range: 54 - 85) who provided home care for their family member. Caregivers who were good at relieving stress or who had a subjective sense of well-being were found to have a low care burden. The types and seriousness of diseases of the care recipients were not related to the caregivers’ sense of burden, capacity to deal with stress, or subjective sense of well-being. Based on the interview results, caregivers were found to have the following characteristics: they were particular about methods of care; they learned how to provide home care by themselves; they used their social intelligence in home care; they always provided home care while keeping the future in mind; and most notably, they considered home care to be their primary occupation. On the whole, male caregivers were found to alleviate the burdens of home care by making use of the nursing-care service systems that enabled them to relieve stress and enjoy their leisure time. Caregivers considered home care to be their occupation and used their past social experiences. The workforce helped them deal with the care recipients’ health conditions or day-to-day changes so that they could overcome the care burden.

Share and Cite:

Uemura, S. , Sekido, K. and Tanioka, T. (2014) Characteristics of Male Family Caregivers in Japan and Their Sense of Care Burden, Capacity to Deal with Stress, and Subjective Sense of Well-Being. Health, 6, 2444-2452. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.618281.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] UNFPA and Help Age International (2012) Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and a Challenge.
[2] Carter, R. (2008) Addressing the Caregiving Crisis. Preventing Chronic Disease, 5.
[3] Zarit, S.H., Reever, K.E. and Bach-Peterson, J. (1980) Relatives of the Impaired Elderly: Correlates of Feelings of Burden. The Gerontologist, 20, 649-655.
[4] Lawton, M.P., Kleban, M.H., Moss, M., Rovine, M. and Glicksman, A. (1989) Measuring Caregiving Appraisal. Journal of Gerontology, 44, 61-71.
[5] Ekwall, A.K. and Hallberg, I.R. (2007) The Association between Caregiving Satisfaction, Difficulties and Coping among Older Family Caregivers. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 16, 832-844.
[6] Wilson-Genderson, M., Pruchno, R.A. and Cartwright, F.P. (2009) Effects of Caregiver Burden and Satisfaction on Affect of Older End Stage Renal Disease Patients and Their Spouses. Psychology and Aging, 24, 955-967.
[7] Pinquart, M. and Sorensen, S. (2007) Correlates of Physical Health of Informal Caregivers: A Meta-Analysis. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 62, 126-137.
[8] Lutz, B.J., Young, M.E., Cox, K.J., Martz, C. and Creasy, K.R. (2011) The Crisis of Stroke: Experiences of Patients and Their Family Caregivers. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 18, 786-797.
[9] Davis, L.L., Gilliss, C.L., Deshefy-Longhi, T., Chestnutt, D.H. and Molloy, M. (2011) The Nature and Scope of Stressful Spousal Caregiving Relationships. Journal of Family Nursing, 17, 224-240.
[10] Provisional Translation by Cabinet Office (2014) Choice for the Future Committee for Japan’s Future.
[11] Kneipp, S.M., Castleman, J.B. and Gailor, N. (2004) Informal Caregiving Burden: An Overlooked Aspect of the Lives and Health of Women Transitioning from Welfare to Employment? Public Health Nursing, 21, 24-31.
[12] Mc Donnell, E. and Ryan, A. (2013) Male Caregiving in Dementia: A Review and Commentary. Dementia, 12, 238-250.
[13] Robinson, C.A., Bottorff, J.L., Pesut, B., Oliffe, J.L. and Tomlinson, J. (2014) The Male Face of Caregiving: A Scoping Review of Men Caring for a Person with Dementia. American Journal of Men’s Health, 8, 409-426.
[15] Kumamoto, K. and Arai, Y. (2004) Validation of “Personal Strain” and “Role Strain”: Subscales of the Short Version of the Japanese Version of the Zarit Burden Interview (J-ZBI_8). Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 58, 606-610.
[16] Eriksson, M. and Lindstrom, B. (2005) Validity of Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence Scale: A Systematic Review. Research Report. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 59, 460-466.
[17] Togari, T. and Yamazaki, Y. (2005) Examination of the Reliability and Factor Validity of 13-Item Five-Point Version Sense of Coherence Scale. Japanese Journal of Health and Human Ecology, 71, 168-182.
[18] Abdollahpur, I., Nedjat, S., Noroozian, M., Salimi, Y. and Majdzadeh, R. (2014) Caregiver Burden: The Strongest Predictor of Self-Rated Health in Caregivers of Patients with Dementia. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 27, 172-180.
[19] Singh-Manoux, A., Martikainen, P., Ferrie, J., Zins, M., Marmot, M. and Goldberg, M. (2006) What Does Self-Rated Health Measure? Results from the British Whitehall II and French Gazel Cohort Studies. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 60, 364-372.
[20] Tanaka, S., Masumoto, T., et al. (2001) Strengthening of Local Residents’ Sense of Coherence (SOC), a Longitudinal Study. Japanese Journal of Nursing Research, 33, 75-82.
[21] Matsushita, M., Ishikawa, T., Koyama, A., Hasegawa, N., Ichimi, N., Yano, H., et al. (2014) Is Sense of Coherence Helpful in Coping with Caregiver Burden for Dementia? Psychogeriatrics, 14, 87-92.
[22] Isse, T. (2001) Elderly Caregivers of Demented Spouses—The Situation of Elderly Male Caregivers. Nara Women’s University. Research Journal of Living Science, 48, 28-37.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.