Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
The association between informal caregiving and poor self-rated health among ever-married women in Japan: A nationally representative survey
Yuka SuzukiKaori Honjo
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JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: JE20200320


Background: The number of people providing informal caregiving, including dual care, which is the combination of child and nursing care, is increasing. Due to the burden of multiple responsibility, dual care could negatively affect the health of informal caregivers. Previous research has not studied the effects of combining different types of informal caregiving. Therefore, we examined, among Japanese women, 1) the association between types of informal caregiving and self-rated health (SRH), and 2) difference in this association according to caregivers’ socio-economic conditions.

Methods: We analyzed the nationally representative 2013 Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions data of 104,171 women aged 20–59. The odds ratios (ORs) for poor SRH by type of informal caregiving (no care, childcare, nursing care, and dual care) were estimated by logistic regression. We also conducted sub-group analyses by socio-economic conditions (equivalent monthly household expenditure and educational attainment).

Results: Compared to the no care group, the adjusted ORs (95% confidence interval [CI]) for poor SRH of the childcare, nursing-care, and dual care groups were 0.92 (95% CI, 0.88–0.97), 1.33 (95% CI, 1.21–1.47), and 1.42 (95% CI, 1.23–1.64), respectively. There was no extra risk arisen from combining childcare and nursing care. The sub-group analyses indicated that neither household expenditure nor educational attainment affected the association between caregiving type and poor SRH.

Conclusion: Our study found that informal nursing care and dual care impose a health burden on female caregivers, regardless of their socio-economic conditions. This highlights the importance of addressing the effects of informal caregiving on the health of women.

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© 2020 Yuka Suzuki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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