Elderly people’s preferences for healthcare facilities in Shanghai: gender features and influencing factor analysis

Shangguang Yang, Luxue Liu, Chunlan Wang, Kevin Lo, Danyang Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: China has one of the fastest paces of the growing aging population, High-level policymakers have recently recognized the aging population presents significant challenges to the Chinese healthcare system. In this context, the healthcare-seeking behaviors of the elderly population have become an essential field of study. It is necessary to understand their access to health services and to improve their quality of life, as well as to help policymakers to formulate healthcare policy. The study empirically investigates the factors influencing the elderly population’s healthcare-seeking behaviors in Shanghai, China, especially in choosing the quality of healthcare facilities to visit.

Methods: We designed a cross-sectional study. The data of this study were derived from the “Shanghai elderly medical demand characteristics questionnaire” in the middle of November to early December 2017. A total of 625 individuals were included in the final sample. Logistic regression was adopted to investigate the differences in healthcare-seeking behaviors between elderly people when suffer from mild illness, severe illness and follow-up treatment. Next, the differences in gender were also discussed.

Results: Factors affecting the healthcare-seeking behaviors of the elderly differ in mild illness and severe illness situations. For mild illness, demographic factors (gender and age) and socioeconomic factors (income and employment) play an important role in elderly healthcare choices. Female and older elderlies are more likely to choose local, lower-quality facilities, whereas those with high income and private employment are more likely to choose higher-quality facilities. For severe illness, socioeconomic factors (income and employment) are important. Furthermore, individuals with basic medical insurance are more likely to choose lower-quality facilities.

Conclusion: This study has shown that the affordability of public health services should be addressed. Medical policy support may be an important way to reduce the gap in access to medical services. We should pay attention to the gender differences in the elderly’s choice of medical treatment behavior, consider the differences in the needs of male and female elderly. our findings are only for elderly Chinese participants in the greater Shanghai area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number356
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Elderly population
  • Healthcare-seeking behavior
  • Influencing factor


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