The "invisible caregiver": multicaregiving among diabetic African-American grandmothers.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To explore the multicaregiving roles African-American grandmothers assume while self-managing their diabetes.

Design & methods

This longitudinal, qualitative pilot study explored the challenges of self-managing diabetes among six African-American caregiving grandmothers. Data were collected at 5 times points across 18 months. Content analysis, guided by the Adaptive Leadership framework, was conducted using data matrices to facilitate within-case and cross-case analyses.


Although participants initially stated they cared only for grandchildren, all had additional caregiving responsibilities. Four themes emerged which illustrated how African-American caregiving grandmothers put the care of dependent children, extended family and community before themselves. Using the Adaptive Leadership framework, technical and adaptive challenges arising from multicaregiving were described as barriers to diabetes self-management.


When assisting these women to self-manage their diabetes, clinicians must assess challenges arising from multicaregiving. This might require developing collaborative work relationships with the client to develop meaningful and attainable goals.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Carthron, DL; Bailey, DE; Anderson, RA

Published Date

  • March 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 2 Suppl

Start / End Page

  • S32 - S36

PubMed ID

  • 24702718

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4056339

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-3984

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0197-4572

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2014.02.013


  • eng