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Structural impact on gendered expectations and exemptions for family caregivers in hospice palliative home care

Evidence of gender differences in the amount and type of care provided by family caregivers in hospice palliative home care suggests potential inequities in health and health care experiences. As part of a larger critical ethnographic study examining gender relations among clients with cancer, their family caregivers and primary nurses, this article describes gendered expectations and exemptions for family caregivers within the sociopolitical context of end-of-life at home. Data were collected from in-depth interviews ([i]n[/i] = 25), observations of agency home care visits ([i]n[/i] = 9) and analyses of policy and home care agency documents ([i]n[/i] = 12). Employing a critical feminist lens, a gender-based analysis revealed that structural discourses emphasizing an artificial divide between public and private spheres constructed end-of-life at home as private and apolitical. Associated with care of home and family, women were most impacted by these public/private discourses underpinning neoliberal values of cost-efficiency. Findings suggest that a critical perspective is needed to assist policy makers and healthcare providers to view how caregiver experiences are shaped by structures that control the availability of resources. Thus, instead of focusing on caregivers' deficits, interventions should be directed at the social, political and economic conditions that shape gendered experiences. 

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons Inc
ISBN/ISSN
1320-7881
Publication Year
2017
Issue Number
1
Journal Titles
Nursing Inquiry
Volume Number
24
Start Page
e12157