What constitutes preferred long-term care provided in residential aged care facilities? An empirical comparison of the preferences of the general population, residents, and family members

Rachel K. Milte, Christine Mpundu-Kaambwa, Gang Chen, Maria Crotty, Julie Ratcliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: Relatively few studies to date have examined the preferences of members of the general population as potential future consumers of long-term aged care services. This study aimed to use discrete choice experiment methodology to compare the preferences of 3 groups: the general population, residents, and family members of people living in long-term aged care. Methods: A total of 6 salient attributes describing the physical and psychosocial care in long-term residential aged care were drawn from qualitative research with people with a lived experience of aged care and were used to develop the discrete choice experiment questionnaire. The 6 attributes included: the level of time care staff spent with residents, homeliness of shared spaces, the homeliness of their own rooms, access to outside and gardens, frequency of meaningful activities, and flexibility with care routines. The questionnaire was administered to 1243 respondents including consumers (residents [n = 126], family member carers [n = 416]), and members of the general population (n = 701). Results: For both the general population and resident samples, having their own room feeling “home-like” exhibited the largest impact upon overall preferences. For the family member sample, care staff being able to spend enough time exhibited the largest impact. Tests of poolability indicated that the resident and general population samples estimates could be pooled. The null hypothesis of equal parameters between the groups was rejected for the family members, indicating significant differences in preferences relative to the resident and the general population samples. Conclusions: This study illustrates that preferences for residential aged care delivery may vary depending upon perspective and experience.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalValue in Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • family members
  • general population
  • long-term care
  • preferences
  • quality of care
  • residents

Cite this