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Support for infertility treatment in Japan: Differences in perceptions between female clients and staff


  • Chikako Takabayashi msc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Toyama Prefectural Mental Health Center,
    2. Doctoral Course, Division of Health Sciences, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, and
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  • Keiko Shimada rn, cnm, phd

    1. Department of Women's Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, Toyama, Japan
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  • [Corresponding author information amended after online publication date October 28, 2009]

Chikako Takabayashi, Toyama Prefectural Mental Health Center, 459-1 Ninagawa, Toyama 939-8222, Japan. Email:


The aim of this study was to clarify the perceptions of both infertile women accessing support services from local governments related to infertility treatment and the public servants providing that assistance. This cross-sectional descriptive study surveyed 62 local government staff members who managed medical expense subsidy programs for infertility treatment in the Hokuriku region of Japan and 84 infertile women attending the clinics. We measured the levels of satisfaction regarding the support services from local governments and the perceptions of the importance of each type of support. The data were analyzed descriptively and included factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. Local governments' support services were analyzed by using four factors: providing information, education and consultation, improving existing services, and improving access. Both the women and the staff endorsed the importance of information provision, the easing of restrictions on subsidies for infertility treatment, reconsideration of the application procedures, and improvement of the publicizing of the available subsidies.