Background: Most informal caregivers are females. Females experience greater caregiver
burden than males, including negative health consequences. Some caregivers show
resilience—i.e., maintain physical and mental health and usual functioning—despite experiencing
high burden. Examining the factors that contribute to resilience and the gender differences among
caregivers of people with dementia are burgeoning areas of research with implications for women’s
health research and practice.
Objective: To conduct a literature review about the resilience among caregivers of people with dementia
(PWD), focusing on self-generated processes, and to assess the extent to which studies reported
Methods: The U.S. National Library of Medicine PubMed database was searched for empirical
studies on resilience among informal caregivers of people with dementia published between January
1, 2017 and April 7, 2020 and the retrieved abstracts screened using predetermined criteria.
Out of 209 unique records screened, 41 were assessed for eligibility and 27 were reviewed.
Results: All 27 studies reported participant gender distribution (average 71% female, 29% male).
Most studies (n=23) included both genders, and nine (39%) conducted a gender-based analysis of
their results. Five categories of resilience-related processes emerged—(1) caregiver experiences,
(2) coping strategies, (3) preserving the relationship with care recipients, (4) social support, and (5)
specific individual processes—with some gender differences.
Conclusion: Although the studies reviewed reported the gender distribution of participants and included
men and women, many did not analyze the results by gender. When analyzed, some resilience-
related processes differed by gender, pointing to areas for future research.