Measuring attentiveness toward oral care needs: a comparative study of Indonesian care workers in Japan and Indonesia

Yuko O. Hirano, Susiana Nugraha, Hiroyasu Shiozu, Misako Higashijima, Tri Budi W. Rahardjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Japan has opened its labor market to care workers from Indonesia under the Japan–Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). However, few studies have examined the types of care skills transferred between countries. We therefore analyzed Indonesian care workers employed in Japan and Indonesia to identify discrepancies in their attentiveness toward oral care in older adults. Methods: A checklist comprising 42 items of universal oral care assessment was developed prior to the study and distributed via the Internet to 418 Indonesian EPA care workers in Japan and via a paper survey to 213 Indonesian care workers in Indonesia. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to compare the distribution of scores for each checklist item for each group. Results: The respondents were 110 Japan-based EPA care workers (response rate: 26.3%) and 213 Indonesia-based care workers (response rate: 99.1%). Japan-based care workers were significantly more likely to perform environmental observations of their older adult patients (p < 0.001) and to check items on the oral care checklist during feeding (p < 0.001) and post-meal (p = 0.001), while Indonesia-based care workers were more likely to check the overall condition of patients before meals (p = 0.021). Conclusions: Discrepancies in checking oral care between the two groups were attributed to the differences in laws and regulations governing the care environments. Indonesian care workers employed in Japan have the advantage of learning to employ a more systematic approach in caring for older adults, in accordance with Japan’s Long-Term Care Act. This approach could contribute toward lowering the risk of aspiration pneumonia in Indonesia. A training program designed for returning migrant workers to transfer newly developed oral care skills will thus be essential for Indonesia to diminish the negative impacts of its aging population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
JournalHuman Resources for Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Care skills transfer
  • EPA care workers
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Older adults
  • Oral care


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