Background: Japan is presently experiencing a growth in the number of male caregivers and this situation has given rise to some concerns over gender differences. Previous studies have suggested that there are gender differences in caregiver burden in home care, however, it is still unclear whether or not gender differences exist. We therefore conducted this study to attain a better understanding of the Japanese male caregiver burden in home care, using data from the Nagoya Longitudinal Study of Frail Elderly (NLS-FE).
Methods: NLS-FE is a large prospective study of community-dwelling elderly persons eligible for public long-term care insurance who live in Nagoya city and use the services of the Nagoya City Health Care Service Foundation for Older People, which comprises 17 visiting nursing stations and corresponding care-managing centers, from November to December 2003. Data used in this study included the Japanese version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview, caregivers’ and dependents’ characteristics, and the caregiving situation. The differences in dependent and caregiver characteristics between male and female caregiver groups were assessed using the χ2-test for categorical variables or the unpaired t-test for continuous variables. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between dependent and caregiver characteristics and caregiver burden.
Results: A total of 399 male caregivers and 1193 female caregivers were included in our analysis. Before and after controlling baseline variables, we did not detect a difference between male and female caregivers with respect to caregiver burden.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that differences in caregiver burden may not necessarily exist between male and female caregivers in Japan.