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Who Wants to Enter a Long-Term Care Facility in a Rapidly Aging Non-Western Society? Attitudes of Older Koreans Toward Long-Term Care Facilities


  • Funded by Korea Research Foundation Grant KRF-2002–050-E0003.

Chang-yup Kim, MD, PhD, MPH, Seoul National University School of Public Health, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110–799, South Korea. E-mail:


To estimate future demand for institutional long-term care (LTC) by Koreans, the intention to use LTC facilities was estimated, and the underlying influencing factors were explored. Data from the Korean National Survey of LTC Need in the Elderly compiled in 2001 were used, and 1,850 people aged 65 and older who were classified as the targets for LTC in the survey and for whom complete data were available were sampled. The following influencing variables were selected based on Anderson's service-use model: demographics, social structural factors, family and community resources, and felt and assessed needs. The result shows that, of all the participants, 18.8% intended to use LTC facilities. A stronger intention was related to younger age, Christian religion, fewer children, lower family income, higher chronic comorbidity, and more education. The rapid industrialization of Korea has lead to a transition from the traditional family-centered mode of caregiving to a nontraditional one, but the intention to use LTC facilities is still lower than in Western developed countries. Regarding family resources, the effect of extended families comprising three or more generations is not as significant as expected, but children continue to be regarded as the main resources for LTC. The recent introduction of nontraditional religions to Korea has had a positive effect on intention to use LTC facilities, suggesting that cultural factors influence their use.