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BMC Geriatr. 2019 Jul 22;19(1):195. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1189-9.

Understanding the care and support needs of older people: a scoping review and categorisation using the WHO international classification of functioning, disability and health framework (ICF).

Author information

1
Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare, School of Health and Related Research, The Innovation Centre, The University of Sheffield, 217 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP, UK.
2
Aging and Health Research Unit, Faculty of Health sciences, the University of Sydney, 75 East Street, J block, Lidcombe, NSW, 2141, Australia.
3
Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare, School of Health and Related Research, The Innovation Centre, The University of Sheffield, 217 Portobello, Sheffield, S1 4DP, UK. mark.hawley@sheffield.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The number of older people with unmet care and support needs is increasing substantially due to the challenges facing the formal and informal care system in the United Kingdom. Addressing these unmet needs is becoming one of the urgent public health priorities. In order to develop effective solutions to address some of these needs, it is important first to understand the care and support needs of older people.

METHODS:

A scoping review was conducted, using the Arksey and O'Malley original and enhanced framework, to understand the care and support needs of older people, focusing on those living at home with chronic conditions in the UK. The search was conducted using five electronic data bases, grey literature and reference list checks. The WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework was used to analyse and categorise the literature findings.

RESULTS:

Forty studies were included in the final analysis- 32 from academic literature and 8 from grey literature. The review highlighted that older adults faced a range of physical, social and psychological challenges due to living with chronic conditions and required care and support in three main areas: 1) social activities and relationships; 2) psychological health; and 3) activities related to mobility, self-care and domestic life. The review also highlighted that many older people demonstrated a desire to cope with their illness and maintain independence, however, environmental factors interfered with these efforts including: 1) lack of professional advice on self-care strategies; 2) poor communication and coordination of services; and 3) lack of information on services such as care pathways. A gap in the knowledge was also identified about the care and support needs of two groups within the older population: 1) older workers; and 2) older carers.

CONCLUSIONS:

The review highlighted that older people living with chronic conditions have unmet care needs related to their physical and psychological health, social life, as well as the environment in which they live and interact. Findings of this review also emphasized the importance of developing care models and support services based around the needs of older people.

KEYWORDS:

Care and support; ICF; Needs; Older people; Scoping review

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