Author(s): Gaugler JE, Kane RL, Kane RA, Newcomer R
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To determine how unmet needs for activity of daily living tasks influenced nursing home placement, death, or loss to follow-up in dementia. DESIGN: An 18-month longitudinal design, with interviews administered every 6 months. SETTING: Eight catchment areas in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: Five thousand eight hundred thirty-one dementia patients and their caregivers were included at baseline. MEASUREMENTS: Measures of sociodemographic context of care; functional, cognitive, and behavioral status of care recipients; caregiver stress and well-being; and formal and informal resources served as covariates. The independent variables of interest were unweighted unmet care need scores and unmet need scores weighted by importance and severity in a prior sample of older consumers of long-term care. Outcomes included nursing home placement, death, and loss to follow-up. RESULTS: Cox regression models suggested that greater unmet need was predictive of nursing home placement, death, and loss to follow-up. These results were apparent when the unweighted and the weighted scores for unmet need with activity of daily living dependencies were used. CONCLUSION: Unmet need may be useful in identifying dementia care recipients at risk for nursing home placement and death. Further study of unmet need is needed to effectively assess and target intervention protocols during the course of dementia.
This article was published in J Am Geriatr Soc
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research