Two-thirds of Japanese open to robo-nursing

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Would you want to be cared for by a Care Robot? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office of Japan recengtly conducted a survey looking at care robots.

Demographics

Between the 1st and 11th of August 2013 3,000 members of the public with Japanese nationality were randomly selected. 1,842 of them (61.4%) chose to answer the questionnaire at face-to-face interviews. Further demographic breakdown was not provided.

Before you get the idea of robo-nurses into your head, as can be seen in the preamble to Q4 it is more just technology to assist the carer and the cared-for rather than the science-fiction image of autonomous androids tending to their human wards.

Research results

Q1: Have you or members of your family had experience of performing nursing care at home? (Sample size=1,842)

Yes, myself (to SQ)26.3%
Yes, other family members (to SQ)11.5%
No62.1%
No answer0.1%

Q1SQ: Which aspect of nursing care at home were particularly arduous? (Sample size=696, multiple answer)

Toilet (on toilet, changing nappies, etc)62.5%
Bathing (getting into bath, washing, etc)58.3%
Meal times (perparation, feeding)49.1%
Transferring (from wheelchair to toilet, bath, bed, etc)48.3%
Getting up (from bed, out of chairs, etc)47.7%
Moving (walking around the house)37.8
Dementia care28.9%
Watching over (perventing wandering off, falling out of bed, etc)28.2%
Going out (shopping escort, etc)19.4%
Rehabilitation training16.1%
Other0.6%
Nothing in particular2.4%
Don’t know0.6%

Q2: Do you know about “Care Robots”? (Sample size=1,842)

Know what they are31.9%
Just heard the term41.9%
Don’t know them26.1%
Don’t know if I know0.1%

Q3: What do you think are the attractions of a Care Robot? (Sample size=1,842, multiple answer)

The physical and mental toll on the carer will be reduced63.9%
The carer need not pay full attention to their ward41.5%
The things the cared-for person can do by themselves will increase35.8%
Will help prevent the physical and mental decline of the cared-for person21.0%
The costs of care will decrease19.9%
It will be even safer than human carers15.4%
Can receive leading-edge care13.7%
Other0.8%
Nothing in particular7.0%
Don’t know4.7%

Next, the respondents were shown information describing the five fields that in November 2012 the government declared were important fields for care-related robotic technology. These were:

  1. When lifting the cared-for person, a wearable device to reduce the strain on the carer’s back, etc
  2. When transferring the cared-for person from bed to wheelchair, equipment to assist the process
  3. When going out, a battery-assisted “Silver Car”, Granny cart
  4. Self-purging toilet for living rooms
  5. Sensor system to assist in looking out for a card-for person

Q4: Would you want to use a Care Robot at your own home when caring for someone else? (Sample size=1,842)

Yes24.7%
Perhaps35.1%
Perhaps not19.3%
No14.6%
Don’t know6.4%

Q5: Would you want to be cared for by a Care Robot? (Sample size=1,842)

Yes35.1%
Perhaps30.0%
Perhaps not14.9%
No14.3%
Don’t know5.6%

Q6: When choosing a Care Robot, what do you think would be especially important? (Sample size=1,842, multiple answer)

Easy to operate74.4%
Cheap price68.6%
Has a safety certificate54.6%
Covered by national health insurance scheme53.6%
Comes with a guarantee against injury from careless use46.1%
Easy to clean, easy to replace parts, otherwise simple on-going maintenance45.2%
Don’t take up much space39.7%
Endorsed by local, national government35.5%
Good reviews from others18.2%
Company has large market share16.0%
Made by a well-known company8.0%
Good design6.7%
Often see adverts for it6.6%
Other0.5%
Nothing in particular3.5%
Don’t know3.0%
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