Healthy aging and concerns among elderly Japanese: A text analysis approach

Yoko Tsuchiya*, Naoki Shida, Takuya Tsujiuchi, Kazuhiko Machida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Japan is facing an unprecedented aging society. In 2013, 25.1% of the total population in Japan was 65 years old and over. One third of the population in Japan will be at least 65 years old in 2035; healthy aging is crucial for public health and society in Japan. Under the budget limitations of social security, policies and frequent policy changes have created great uncertainty and concern for the elderly population. Given these circumstances, we conducted questionnaire surveys in 2010 to examine concerns in this age-group. In 2010, we sent questionnaires to university graduates 65 years old and older, randomly selected from a list of an alumni association of 11 universities. The questionnaires were open-ended and asked them to write any concerns that they had about health care, health policy, health systems, and their future. We received 344 responses. Among those who responded, 271 (78.8%) respondents said that they had concerns. We conducted a text analysis (Trend Search–Keyword Associator 2008) and extracted the keywords from their responses. The keywords that were extracted frequently included hospitals, doctors, health-care system, health care, Japanese government policies, government, medical insurance system for the elderly, support, increase, copayment, health (their own), scarcities, and burdens. In this study, many elderly people in Japan are concerned about health-care expenditures, health-care systems, and health policies. This may be caused by frequent health policy changes and uncertainty due to frequent administration changes such as the lack of clarity concerning raising the out of pocket payment rate from 10% to 20% for elderly people under budget constraints in Japan. Correct policy making and determination to eliminate the concerns from this vulnerable population in Japan are necessary for healthy aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-226
Number of pages12
JournalInternational quarterly of community health education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr


  • Aging society in Japan
  • Concerns of the elderly
  • Elderly insurance policy in Japan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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