High Impact Publications 2022-12
The impact of unmet needs for assistance with activities of daily living on the self-rated health and life satisfaction of Chinese community-dwelling older adults
Aging Ment Health. Mar 3:1-8. 2022
Huang J., Choi E.P.H., Chau P.H.*
This study examined the associations of change in unmet needs for assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) with the self-rated health and life satisfaction of community-dwelling Chinese older adults.
Using national longitudinal data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Study, we examined the associations of change in unmet ADL needs with self-rated health and life satisfaction from baseline (T1) to a 3-year follow-up (T2) among 1,914 ADL-limited older adults. Change in unmet ADL needs was categorized into 'Persistently Unmet,' 'Unmet at T1 Only,' 'Unmet at T2 Only,' and 'Never Unmet.' Self-rated health and life satisfaction were rated by 5-point Likert scales. Linear mixed models were performed to examine the associations, controlling for sociodemographics, health conditions, and social support.
Older adults whose ADL needs were 'Persistently Unmet,' 'Unmet at T2 Only,' or 'Never Unmet,' showed a significant decline in self-rated health, but those whose ADL needs were 'Unmet at T1 Only' exhibited a significant rise at follow-up. While life satisfaction was stable among older adults with 'Persistently Unmet' or 'Never Unmet' ADL needs, it significantly decreased among those with 'Unmet at T2 Only' ADL needs and increased among those with 'Unmet at T1 Only' ADL needs.
Unmet needs may play an even more significant role in negatively impacting life satisfaction than the ADL limitation itself. Unmet ADL needs' effects on self-rated health and life satisfaction appeared to be short-term rather than long-term. Thus, it is never too late to adequately meet older adults' ADL needs.
Key Words: ADL; insufficient help; life satisfaction; long-term care; quantitative methods and statistics; self-rated health; unmet need.