Men as caregivers: implications for occupational therapy

Deborah Davys, Tracy Collins

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


There is an increasing demand upon families to provide care in a context of reduced resources and budgetary constraint. Occupational therapists are called upon not only to work with individuals but to collaborate with families and communities (World Federation of Occupational Therapists 2010) and to develop effective partnerships with service users and their carers (College of Occupational therapists 2010). This paper will present data drawn from the existing literature and emergent themes from doctoral and post doctoral studies for which ethical approval was gained from the relevant universities. One study focused upon the siblings of people who have an intellectual disability and the other upon the experience of widowers who had been carers. Both studies utilised semi-structured interviews to collect data and applied a form of thematic analysis to the findings. Emergent themes arising from both studies include the care role of men within society and gender issues. From the findings of the research and associated literature it is apparent that men are considered to be hard to engage by service providers (Age Concern, 2007) and that tensions between men and service providers may exist (Rivard and Mastel-Smith 2014). The prevailing social expectation that women will take on a care role remains however men can and do take on such roles which may impact upon their health, wellbeing and ultimately their ability to provide unpaid care. It is also apparent that men may have specific needs in relation to their care role however service providers may be unaware of or ignore these needs (Ly and Goldberg 2014). Occupational therapists are increasingly likely to work with men who have a care role either as husbands, fathers, brothers or sons, and in order to develop effective partnerships with service users and their families, they need to be aware of strategies that may support men as carers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventCollege of Occupational Therapists 40th Annual Conference - Harrogate International Centre, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 201630 Jun 2016


ConferenceCollege of Occupational Therapists 40th Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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