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Factors affecting Japanese retirees' healthcare service utilisation in Malaysia: a qualitative study
  1. Ayako Kohno1,2,
  2. Nik Daliana Nik Farid1,
  3. Ghazali Musa3,
  4. Norlaili Abdul Aziz1,
  5. Takeo Nakayama2,
  6. Maznah Dahlui1,4
  1. 1Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. 2Department of Health Informatics, Kyoto University School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan
  3. 3Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  4. 4Faculty of Medicine, Julius Centre, University of Malaya (JCUM), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Ayako Kohno; kohnoayako{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objective While living overseas in another culture, retirees need to adapt to a new environment but often this causes difficulties, particularly among those elderly who require healthcare services. This study examines factors affecting healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees in Malaysia.

Design We conducted 6 focus group discussions with Japanese retirees and interviewed 8 relevant medical services providers in-depth. Guided by the Andersen Healthcare Utilisation Model, we managed and analysed the data, using QSR NVivo 10 software and the directed content analysis method.

Setting We interviewed participants at Japan Clubs and their offices.

Participants 30 Japanese retirees who live in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, and 8 medical services providers.

Results We identified health beliefs, medical symptoms and health insurance as the 3 most important themes, respectively, representing the 3 dimensions within the Andersen Healthcare Utilisation Model. Additionally, language barriers, voluntary health repatriation to Japan and psychological support were unique themes that influence healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees.

Conclusions The healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees in Malaysia could be partially explained by the Andersen Healthcare Utilisation Model, together with some factors that were unique findings to this study. Healthcare service utilisation among Japanese retirees in Malaysia could be improved by alleviating negative health beliefs through awareness programmes for Japanese retirees about the healthcare systems and cultural aspects of medical care in Malaysia.

  • Japanese retirees
  • healthcare
  • qualitative study
  • Malaysia My Second Home
  • services

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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