Aging, Community and Health Research Group (ACHRU)

McMaster University

Studies & Research

Funded by

Study 3

Sex- and Gender-Based Analysis of Family Caregivers of Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions


Women are the biggest users and providers of health care in Canada, and assume most of the costs and burdens associated with caregiving. The costs of caregiving have long-term consequences for women’s health and income. Family caregivers of older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) are particularly vulnerable, as they often put the needs of the care recipient ahead of their own, resulting in reduced emotional, mental, social, financial and physical health and well-being. Little is known about how to sustain the health of caregivers. We need a better understanding of the combined influence of sex, gender, age, education, income, employment status, culture, geography, social connectedness, and other determinants, on the health of caregivers, and how they may change over time given the dynamic nature of caring for older adults with MCC.

This repeated-measures mixed methods study provided new knowledge about how social location (e.g., gender, geography, social connectedness) of family caregivers of older adults with MCC affects quality of life and other health outcomes over time. This information is used by health system decision-makers to design targeted interventions to support caregivers who assume important roles in our health care system yet often experience negative effects.


Publication in Social and Cultural Geography

Publication in Canadian Journal on Aging

Publication in International Journal for Equity in Health

Publication in Gender, Place & Culture

Publication in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes

Publication in International Journal of Care and Caring

Publication in Journal of Human Health Research

Research Brief

Caregiver Check-up: Roles, Burdens & Support Video

  • Allison Williams
    Associate Professor
    McMaster University
    School of Geography & Earth Sciences
  • Wendy Duggleby
    University of Alberta
    Faculty of Nursing
  • Jenny Ploeg
  • Maureen Markle-Reid
  • Sunita Ghosh
  • Shelley Peacock
  • Lori Martin
  • Heather Moquin
  • Won Yong Choi

Publications and Activities relating to this study:

Informal Caregivers Need Better Support

Change is urgently needed to better support our caregivers, say Drs. Jenny Ploeg and Maureen Markle-Reid in The Conversation Canada.

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Celebrate Nursing Week 2016 by video on ACHRU key research principles

Did you know one of the key principles of ACHRU research is an inter-professional nurse-led team based approach to patient care? Drs. Maureen Markle-Reid and Jenny Ploeg and the ACHRU research team invite you to celebrate Nursing Week 2016 by watching our video on ACHRU key research principles.

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Caregiver check-up: roles, burdens & support

Watch our new video about Study 3: Sex- and Gender-Based Analysis of Family Caregivers of Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions.

Read More