Family Caregiver Experience of Resistance to Care: Occurrence Patterns, Context, and Impact on Caregiver

Yumi Shirai, Susan Silverberg Koerner, Shuo Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the extant literature identifies resistance to care (RTC) as one of the most frequently reported and impactful caregiver (CG) stressors, typical studies that rely on quantitative measures of RTC do not fully explain how and why RTC negatively influences CGs’ well-being. As such, it is difficult to develop specific intervention strategies to support CGs in dealing with RTC. Informed by existing literature and tenets from Stress Theory, the current study includes semi-structured interviews with 19 family CGs of community-dependent (non-institutionalized) elders, regarding their RTC experiences. Through a directed qualitative content analysis, we explored occurrence patterns, contextual factors of when and how RTC occurs, how CGs respond to RTC, and its potential impact on CGs’ subjective stress. The results revealed distinguishable characteristics of four types of RTC: Frequent-Pervasive, Frequent-Delimited, Transition-Activated, and Shock-to-Unfamiliar/Unexpected. We discuss how recognition of those types of RTC can be integrated into CG support intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2653-2665
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • USA
  • behavioral problems
  • care-recipient resistance
  • content analysis
  • family caregiver
  • problem behaviors
  • qualitative
  • resistance to care
  • southern Arizona
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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