How Culture Shapes Informal Caregiver Motivations: A Meta-Ethnographic Review

Mikołaj Zarzycki, Diane Seddon, Eva Bei, Rachel Dekel, Val Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

12 Scopus citations


The provision of informal care presents a significant global challenge. To better understand how cultural factors underpin and shape motivations and willingness to provide informal care for adults, an in-depth qualitative synthesis was conducted. Six electronic databases and a wide range of additional sources were searched. Following meta-ethnographic guidelines, 37 qualitative studies were synthesised. Six main concepts were identified: cultural self-identity, which appeared as an overarching explanatory concept; cultural duty and obligations; cultural values; love and emotional attachments; repayment and reciprocity; and competing demands and roles. These concepts informed a model of cultural caregiving motivations, offering an inductive-based exploration of key cultural motivators and highlighting implications for theory development, future research, policy and practice. The model holds implications for the actual exchange of care. Caregiver motivations should not be taken for granted by healthcare or social care professionals involved in assessment and support planning, educational endeavours at a population level may support caregiving, and support should be sensitive to cultural caregiving motivations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1574-1589
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: The PhD was funded by EC funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018), grant agreement no. 814072. The funder has not had any role in the preparation of the manuscript.

FundersFunder number
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training NetworkH2020-MSCA-ITN-2018
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme814072
European Commission


    • culture
    • informal caregiving
    • meta-ethnography
    • motivations to provide care
    • self-identity
    • systematic review
    • willingness to provide care


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