ADL/ IADL dependencies and unmet healthcare needs in older persons: A nationwide survey

Lee Hyejin, Oh Bumjo, Kim Sunyoung, Lee Kiheon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine the impact of overall and component-wise activities for daily living (ADL) as well as instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependencies on unmet healthcare needs in older adults. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were performed based on a National Survey of Older Koreans. A total of 10,082 participants aged ≥ 65 years were included. All data were collected through standardized, personal interviews with participants and their representatives. Logistic regression was used to analyse the risk of unmet healthcare needs, with or without adjustment. Results: Amongst all participants, 734 (7.2%) had ADL dependency. Participants with ADL dependency had lower income, education level, and perceived health status (p<0.001). The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for the risk of unmet healthcare needs was 1.52 (95%, confidence interval [CI] 1.19–1.95) for ADL and 1.54 (95%, CI 1.28–1.86) for IADL. When men have ADL dependency, aOR of unmet healthcare needs was higher than that of women (aOR 1.89, 95% CI 1.15 - 3.11; aOR 1.65, 95% CI 1.15 - 2.36, respectively) and IADL showed the same trend. Any dependency on ADL or IADL was associated with higher risk of unmet healthcare needs, whether adjusted or not (p<0.001). Conclusions: Older adults with ADL or IADL dependency had higher risks of unmet healthcare needs than their independent counterparts. In addition to mobility problems, other components were related to unmet healthcare needs. Therefore, to reduce unmet healthcare needs, integration of health and social care that supports ADL or IADL dependency should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104458
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • Activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)
  • Integrated care
  • Unmet healthcare needs
  • social service


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