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Informal and formal care preferences and expected willingness of providing elderly care in Germany: protocol for a mixed-methods study
  1. Lea de Jong1,
  2. Marika Plöthner1,
  3. Jona Theodor Stahmeyer2,
  4. Sveja Eberhard2,
  5. Jan Zeidler1,
  6. Kathrin Damm1
  1. 1 Center for Health Economics Research Hannover (CHERH), Leibniz University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany
  2. 2 Health Services Research Unit, AOK Niedersachsen, Hannover, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Lea de Jong; ldj{at}


Introduction In Germany, the number of elderly people in need of care is expected to increase from 2.4 million in 2015 to 3.2 million in 2030. The subsequent rise in demand for long-term care facilities is unlikely to be met by the current care structures and available staff. Additionally, many Germans still prefer to be cared for at home for as long as possible. In light of recent changes, such as increasing employment rates of women and growing geographical distances of family members, informal caregiving becomes more challenging in the future. The aim of this study is to explore preferences for informal and formal care services in the German general population, as well as the expected willingness of providing elderly care.

Methods and analysis A mixed-methods approach will be used to explore care preferences and expected willingness of providing elderly care in the German general population. A systematic literature review will be performed to provide an overview of the current academic literature on the topic. Qualitative interviews will be conducted with informal caregivers, care consultants and people with no prior caregiving experiences. A labelled discrete choice experiment will be designed and conducted to quantitatively measure the preferences for informal and formal care in the German general population. People between 18 and 65 years of age will be recruited in cooperation with a (regional) statutory health insurance (AOK Lower Saxony). A mixed multinomial logit regression model and a latent class finite mixture model will be used to analyse the data and test for subgroup differences in care preferences.

Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by the Committee for Clinical Ethics of the Medical School in Hannover. Data will be treated confidential to ensure the participants' anonymity. The results will be discussed and disseminated to relevant stakeholders in the field.

Trial registration number DRKS00012266.

  • preferences
  • elderly care
  • mixed methods
  • discrete choice experiment

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  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors LdJ, KD, MP and JZ were involved in the design of the study. JTS and SE were responsible for the design of the recruitment process. LdJ was responsible for drafting the manuscript. All authors approved the final study design and were involved in revising the manuscript. All authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, grant number 01EH1603A. The publication of this article was funded by the Open Access Fund of the Leibniz University Hannover.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study has been approved by the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH)’s Committee for Clinical Ethics (Reference number 09.05.17/La).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.