Double-Duty Caregiving: Women in the Health Professions Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • ABSTRACTThe purpose of this feminist narrative study was to examine the experiences of women in four different health professions (nursing, medicine, physiotherapy, and social work) who provided care to elderly relatives. Although caring is a central and common feature of the personal and professional lives of many women (Baines, Evans, & Neysmith, 1991; Baines, 2004), the separation of professional, paid caregiving from family, unpaid caregiving among health care providers is problematic. Study findings suggest that female health professionals who assume familial responsibilities continually negotiate the boundaries between their professional and personal caring work. Despite the use of a variety of strategies for managing their double-duty caregiving demands, many women experienced a dramatic blurring or erosion of these boundaries, resulting in feelings of isolation, tension, and extreme physical and mental exhaustion. These findings suggest that women who are double-duty caregivers, especially those with limited time, finances, or other tangible supports, may experience poor health, which warrants further study.


  • Ward-Griffin, Catherine
  • Brown, Judith Belle
  • Vandervoort, Anthony
  • Mcnair, Susan
  • Dashnay, Ian

publication date

  • 2005