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Unmet needs and depressive symptoms among low--income older adults

Unmet needs and depressive symptoms among low--income older adults

Journal of Gerontological Social Work 52(6): 567-583

Previous studies have found that declining health, decreased social interaction, and inadequate financial resources were significant risk factors for late-life depression, and social support from families and friends and religiosity were significant protective factors. In this study, we examined if low-income older adults' perceived unmet need for home- and community-based services for many aging-associated problems would be independently associated with their depressive symptoms, controlling for these known risk and protective factors. We interviewed a total of 213 community-residing older adults to assess their depressive symptoms, using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and unmet needs in the areas of personal assistance, instrumental and environmental support, emotional support, and other facilitative/enabling services. We found that the number of unmet needs was significantly positively associated with these older adults' depressive symptoms, although it explained only a small proportion of the variance of the GDS scores. Future research and practice implications are discussed.

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Accession: 056765709

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19598039

DOI: 10.1080/01634370802609270

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