Analyzing the Presence of Unmet Need and Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults
Lewis, Stephanie N.
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This paper works to examine and determine a relationship or association between unmet need from disability and depressive symptoms in older adults. The older adult population is extremely vulnerable to deteriorating quality of life in the presence of unmet need or disability. Older adults are significant members of the population and deserve the right to a healthy, positive quality of life. Data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) provided quantitative data for both unmet need and depressive symptoms for beneficiaries of Medicare. The data was processed using descriptive statistics and basic statistical analysis. Dividing up data into subpopulations based on their unmet need and depressive symptoms across time points allowed the team to understand how the behaviors of the participants changed over time. The results of this analysis showed that those with a higher unmet need due to disability score also show more depressive symptoms. The data suggest that depressive symptoms and disability in adults are closely associated. Currently, there are several forms of governance helping this population out with basic needs, but there is substantial room for improvement. The results of this study have the potential to spread awareness and amend government policies to provide older adults with the services they need.