J Korean Acad Nurs Adm.  2020 Mar;26(2):100-109. 10.11111/jkana.2020.26.2.100.

Factors Influencing Unmet Healthcare Needs among the Elderly with Cognitive Impairment in Korea

  • 1Visiting Scholar, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Korea.
  • 2Instructor, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Korea.


This study aimed to examine the prevalence of unmet healthcare needs and the factors that influence unmet healthcare needs among older people with cognitive impairment. Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive design with secondary data from the 2017 National Survey of Older Koreans was used in this study. Data from 1,382 people over the age of 65 years with cognitive impairments were analyzed. Logistic regression analysis was conducted based on Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Use.
Overall, 9.6% of the participants reported unmet healthcare needs during the previous 12 months. The main reasons for unmet healthcare needs were financial constraints (45.4%), mobility limitation (18.0%), and mildness of symptoms (14.9%). Higher unmet healthcare needs were significantly associated with fewer years of education, no family members providing caregiving or assistance with hospital visits, fewer close relatives, lower income, greater impairment in activities of daily living, and presence of depressive symptoms.
Our findings indicate that predisposing factors, enabling factors, and need factors were significantly associated with unmet healthcare needs among elderly individuals with cognitive impairment. Therefore, it is necessary to establish healthcare policies and strategies to improve the accessibility of healthcare services.


Assessment of healthcare needs; Cognitive impairment; Elderly; Health services accessibility
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