Japanese Public Long-Term Care Insured: Preferences for Future Long-Term Care Facilities, Including Relocation, Waiting Times, and Individualized Care

Kanae Sawamura, Hiroshi Sano, Miharu Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Expenditures on long-term care insurance (LTCI) in Japan have been increasing with the aging of the population, which has led to an increase in premiums. To optimize resource allocation, we aim toclarify the priorities of the functions of long-term care facilities from the viewpoint of future beneficiaries. Design: The present study was conducted using a cross-sectional study design. Setting/Participants: We conducted a mail-in survey targeting 2400 adults aged 50-65 in 8 cities in Japan, and 371 persons responded. Measurements: Conjoint analysis was applied to measure participants' preferences for long-term care facility services. Participants read 1 of 2 vignettes of an 80-year-old person with either dementia or a fracture, and were asked to envision it as a possible future scenario for themselves. Participants then completed 8 or 9 tasks to select suitable long-term care facilities for the person described. The questionnaire also contained common questions on participants' personal profiles: age, gender, family situation, education, approximate yearly family income, experience as a family caregiver, dwelling status, present health status, and possibility of requiring long-term care services in the future. Results: The results focused mainly on (1) possibilities of individual choice for daily schedules/meals; (2) availability of regular care staff; (3) room; (4) main daily interactions; (5) necessity of relocation associated with medical deterioration; 6) Waiting time; 7) distance from present residence; and (8) monthly fees. Necessity of relocation associated with medical deterioration was consistently given the greatest importance. Participants with experience as a family caregiver showed significantly greater preference for individualized care and communication. Conclusions: The option of avoiding relocation was highly valued by participants compared with private rooms and individualized care. The present situation of high demand for intensive care homes for the elderly, provoked by anxiety about future residence, will not change unless a robust system is built to support residents even when their health has deteriorated. Individualized care has been promoted by long-term care insurance policies, but further advances will require efforts to obtain the understanding of the insured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350.e9-350.e20
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Discrete choice experiment
  • General population
  • Japan
  • Long-term care
  • Preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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