Abstract: Ageing populations increase pressure on long-term care. Optimal resource allocation requires an optimal mix of care services based on costs and benefits. Contrary to costs, benefits remain largely unknown. This study elicits preferences in the general elderly population for long-term care services for varying types of patients. A discrete choice experiment was conducted in a general population subsample aged 50-65 years (N = 1082) drawn from the Dutch Survey Sampling International panel. To ascertain relative preferences for long-term care and willingness to pay for these, participants were asked to choose the best of two care scenarios for four groups of hypothetical patients: frail and demented elderly, with and without partner. The scenarios described long-term care using ten attributes based on Social Production Function theory: hours of care, organized social activities, transportation, living situation, same person delivering care, room for individual preferences, coordination of services, punctuality, time on waiting list, and co-payments. We found the greatest value was attached to same person delivering care and transportation services. Low value was attached to punctuality and room for individual preferences. Nursing homes were generally considered to be detrimental for well-being except for dementia patients without a partner. Overall, long-term care services were thought to produce greatest well-being for the patients 'without a partner' and those 'with dementia'. Individuals combining these two risk factors would benefit the most from all services except transportation which was considered more important for the frail elderly. The results support the notion that long-term care services represent different value for different types of patients and that the value of a service depends upon the social context. Examination of patient profiles confirmed the notion that physical, mental and social vulnerability affect valuation of the services. Policy-making would profit from allocation models in which budgetary requirements of different services can be balanced against the well-being they produce for individuals.

Additional Metadata
Keywords *Choice Behavior, *Patient Preference, Aged, Data Collection, Dementia, Frail Elderly, Health Services Needs and Demand, Humans, Long-Term Care/economics/organization & administration/*psychology, Middle Aged, Netherlands, Nursing Homes, Transportation of Patients, Widowhood
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.12.027, hdl.handle.net/1765/23401
Citation
Nieboer, A.P., Koolman, A.H.E., & Stolk, E.A.. (2010). Preferences for long-term care services: Willingness to pay estimates derived from a discrete choice experiment. Social Science & Medicine, 70(9), 1317–1325. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.12.027