ESR3: Diversity of experiences in caregiver-care recipient dyads

Work package 1
ESR Giulia Ferraris
Supervisor Prof. Mariët Hagedoorn & Prof. Robbert Sanderman
Co-supervisor Prof. Louise von Essen
Host institution University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands
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Objectives: To investigate which characteristics of dyads and interactions within dyads stimulate or decrease the willingness to care in care providers

The caregiving situation inherently includes at least two persons, that is, the caregiver and the care recipient. However, surprisingly little caregiving research has included the perspectives of both members and studied interactions within dyads, especially in relation to willingness to care and possible consequences of willingness for both caregivers and care recipients. Interactions within dyads, and discrepancies between caregiver and care-recipient beliefs and needs, are relevant processes to intervene upon (e.g., through face-to-face counselling, eHealth or assistive technology, or policy change). For example, what happens if caregivers and care-recipients have incompatible needs or wishes concerning (informal) care? What kind of support might help in this situation? Which interactions between caregivers and care recipients promote or deteriorate their relationship and the caregivers’ willingness to care (e.g., recipient showing gratitude for help, the carer demanding the care-recipient to take medication, shared emotional intimacy)? Negative relationship experiences (e.g., trust issues, low levels of intimacy, poor communication) and caregiver burden may put stress on the caregiving relationship and erode the willingness to care. The identification of these processes could improve support to caregivers and care recipients. The aim of this project is to study how this relates to other outcomes for caregivers and care recipients (e.g., emotional wellbeing, daily functioning, social participation, quality of care), taking into account diversity (different dyads, e.g., adult children- parents, spouse dyads; care systems). The ESR will address these issues, by receiving in-depth training on the topic, carrying out a systematic literature review, and collecting qualitative and quantitative data (ENTWINE-iCohort) allowing him/her to analyse this phenomenon in-depth.


In case you would like to share these project findings, you can find the project summary here.


Ferraris, G., Gérain, P., Zarzycki, M., Elayan, S., Morrison, V., Sanderman, R., & Hagedoorn, M. (2024). The associations of dyadic coping strategies with caregiver’s willingness to care and burden: A weekly diary study.Journal of Health Psychology, 13591053231223838. DOI:

Ferraris, G., Zarzycki, M., Gérain, P., Elayan, S., Morrison, V., Sanderman, R., & Hagedoorn, M. (2023). Does willingness to care fluctuate over time? A weekly diary study among informal caregivers. Psychology & Health, 1-19. DOI:

Ferraris, G., Fisher, O., Lamura, G., Fabbietti, P., Gagliardi, C., & Hagedoorn, M. (2022). Dyadic associations between perceived social support and psychological well-being in caregivers and older care recipients. Journal of family psychology. Advance online publication.

Dang, S., Looijmans A., Ferraris G., Giovanni L., Hagedoorn M. (2022). Exploring the needs of spousal, adult child and adult sibling informal caregivers : A mixed-method systematic review. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.

Morrison, V., Zarzycki, M., Vilchinsky, N., Sanderman, R., Lamura, G., Fisher, O., Ferraris, G., Elayan, S., Buskens, E., Bei, E., ... & Hagedoorn, M. (2022). A Multinational Longitudinal Study Incorporating Intensive Methods to Examine Caregiver Experiences in the Context of Chronic Health Conditions: Protocol of the ENTWINE-iCohort. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(2), 821.

Ferraris, G., Dang, S., Woodford, J., & Hagedoorn, M. (2021). The role of dyadic interdependence among non-spousal caregiving dyads: a systematic review. PROSPERO, CRD42020215259 Available from:

Coumoundouros, C., Mårtensson, E., Ferraris, G., von Essen, L., Sanderman, R., & Woodford, J. (2020). Implementation of e-mental health interventions for informal caregivers of adults with chronic diseases: a systematic review. Implementation Science, 15(Suppl 4), P10.


Host Secondment supervisor Aim Duration
Uppsala Universitet, Sweden Prof. Louise von Essen To learn about psychosocial and eHealth interventions, and how to use the portal U- CARE 3 months
Tired of Cancer, the Netherlands Door Vonk & Bram Kuiper To learn about the technical and commercial aspects of translating knowledge into an eHealth programme 3 months