177510 Health care seeking behaviors among elderly: Japan - US comparative study

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chiyoe Murata, PhD, MPH , Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu-shi, Japan
Hiroshi Hirai, PhD , Nihon Fukushi University, Nagoya, Japan
Tetsuji Yamada, PhD , Department of Economics, Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, Camden, NJ
Chia-Ching Chen, EdD, CHES , Department of Behavioral Sciences & Community Health, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY
Toshiyuki Ojima, PhD, MD , Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan
Katsunori Kondo, PhD, MD , Department of Health Welfare, Nihon Fukushi University, Chita-gun, Aichi, Japan
Comparison of health care systems across nations is of increasing interest. However, little study has been conducted regarding differences in health care seeking behaviors among elderly 65 years or older. Our study purpose is to investigate such differences between Japan and the US, using the data from the Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study 2006 in Japan and the Community Tracking Study Household Survey 2003 in the US. Preliminary analyses indicated that about 12% of respondents postponed or did not get the care they needed (11.5% in Japan and12.9% in the US). In Japan, the top three reasons for postponing or not getting the care were, “Wait in the office too long”(30.1%), “Didn't think problem serious enough” (29.5%), and ”Worry about the cost”(25.1%). While in the US, such reasons were “Didn't think problem serious enough” (41.2%), “Too busy to take the time” (24.3%), and ”Worry about the cost”(23.5%). In both nations, more low income elderly responded that cost was the concern. Studies reported that low income people have more health problems. To investigate if such disparity is due to limited access to care or not require further attention. High percentages of elderly who postponed or did not get the care because they did not think the problem serious enough was also a concern. Elderly tend to have more chronic health problems which require regular medical attention. At the session, we will discuss factors that might potentially affect elderly care seeking behavior taking into consideration cultural and systematic factors in both nations.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the session 1. Audience will recognize factors potentially affect elderly care seeking behavior. 2. Audience will learn the differences between the US and Japan regarding health care utilization.

Keywords: Health Care Utilization, Barriers to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: this is my own work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.