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Unmet need for personal assistance services: estimating the shortfall in hours of help and adverse consequences.

LaPlante, Mitchell P; Kaye, H Stephen; Kang, Taewoon; Harrington, Charlene.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci; 59(2): S98-S108, 2004 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-15014097

OBJECTIVES:

Perceived unmet need for personal assistance services (PAS) in activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs and its association with reduced hours of help received and with adverse consequences due to lack of help are examined for adults aged 18 and older using data from the 1994-1997 National Health Interview Survey on Disability.

METHODS:

A two-part multivariate regression model of the probability of PAS use and hours of help received was developed to control for need level, living arrangements, and other characteristics that may differ between persons with met and unmet needs and to determine the shortfall in hours associated with unmet need.

RESULTS:

Individuals with unmet need for personal assistance with two or more of the five basic ADLs have a shortfall of 16.6 hours of help per week compared with those whose needs are met. The relative shortfall is twice as great for persons who live alone as for those who live with others. People who live alone and have unmet needs fare worse than people with unmet needs who live with others, and both groups are more likely than those whose needs are met to experience adverse consequences, including discomfort, weight loss, dehydration, falls, burns, and dissatisfaction with the help received.

DISCUSSION:

Overall, just 6.6% of needed hours are unmet among the 3.3 million people needing help in two or more ADLs. We estimate the annual cost of eliminating unmet need among persons with incomes under 300% of the Supplemental Security Income level between 1.2 and 2.7 billion dollars for those living alone and from 2.2 to 7.1 billion dollars for those living with others.