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
- qualitative study
- Malaysia My Second Home
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