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Predictors of Unmet Need among Informal Caregivers

Objectives: This study investigates the relationship of caregiver demographics, caregiving intensity, caregiver support use, and aspects of the caregiving situation to a self-reported measure of unmet need among U.S. informal caregivers of older adults living at home with various conditions.; Methods: Response data from 1,558 caregiver participants interviewed by telephone during the December 2016 baseline period of the Outcome Evaluation of the National Family Caregiver Support Program were used. Caregivers who responded "Definitely No" to the question "Are you receiving all the help you need?" were classified as reporting unmet need. Logistic regression was used to find significant factors associated with unmet need among the full sample and among caregivers tiered by three levels of burden.; Results: Unmet need was reported by 22% of the caregivers. In a fully adjusted model, unmet need was predicted by higher levels of caregiving intensity, non-White race of the caregiver, and the caregiver not feeling appreciated by their care recipient. Other predictors associated with unmet need were no use of caregiver educational services, fewer respite hours, not living in a rural area, and caregiver having an education past high school.; Discussion: Caregivers who do not feel appreciated by their care recipient and non-White caregivers should be identified as potential targets for intervention to address unmet need, especially if they are also reporting higher levels of caregiver burden. Understanding the factors associated with self-reported unmet need can assist caregiver support programs in measuring and addressing the needs of informal caregivers to support their continued caregiving.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Oxford university press
Publication Year
Journal Titles
The Journals Of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences And Social Sciences
Volume Number
Online early view