A Discrete Choice Experiment of Older Self-funders’ Preferences when Navigating Community Social Care

Rowan Jasper, Stuart Wright, Stephen Rogers, Sarah Tonks, Richard Morfitt, Kate Baxter, Yvonne Birks, Mark Wilberforce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most long-term care systems (social care) for older people rely on some means testing, copayment system, private insurance, or other non-governmental funding to supplement state provision. In England, an estimated quarter of homecare delivery is funded privately. For many older people, the absence of state funding for their care is only part of the problem: they are also expected to search for care in a market characterised by complexity, plurality, and imperfect information. Surprisingly, there are few services available to support private funders to navigate the system. This paper examines willingness to pay for care navigation and seeks to classify heterogeneity of preferences for navigation support. A discrete choice experiment (DCE) survey was completed by 182 participants across England in 2020-21. The results of the random parameter logit model used to analyse preferences showed that people valued information about care options (quality, information, and finances), but they also wanted help to "think things through,"as processing information could be challenging. Generally, participants valued what the navigation service provided, more than how the services were organised and delivered. The study also used latent class analysis to identify four groups with similar preferences, with almost half of participants (48%) expressing high willingness to pay for a comprehensive navigation service. The other three classes represented those with preferences focused on a narrower set of attributes: fast access to information (20%), affordable help to "think things through"(18%), and information provided by their local council (14%). The study demonstrates the potential demand and likely take-up of navigation support if made available to people who pay privately for care. Future research needs to examine the barriers to market development for social care navigation services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6642636
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2023


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