A Critical Review of Studies on Health Needs Assessment of Elderly in the World

Elderly Health Journal

Volume 3 - Number 1

Article Type: Review Article
Abstract: Introduction: Health improvement, control of communicable diseases and increase in life expectancy among the elderly of developed and developing countries has greatly increased. Since the health care and social needs of older adults differ from that of other adults, it is necessary to identify the needs of the elderly in order to make proper plans that will promote their health. The aim of this paper is to critically review these researches.
Methods: A comprehensive literature review on the needs assessment of elderly health was applied searching English and Persian databases in Pub Med, Science Direct, ProQuest, Elsevier, Magiran, ISC and using key words including, Health need, Assessment, Elderly, Aging, Older adults, Aged and Health care needs.
Results: Initial search yielded 745 references, considering the inclusion criteria, 21 papers were reviewed. Results revealed that in conducting needs assessment, various methods and procedures in various health dimensions including physical health, mental health, emotional, care, social, cultural, economic, nutritional, service, security, legal and educational needs have been utilized. Some of the dimensions had been more explored and some rarely.
Conclusion: Most of the conducted studies had mainly focused on the elderly physical health needs and had neglected to take in to account other needs such as social and health care needs. In order to comprehensively recognize the health needs of the elderly, identifying their health care and care services is also important. Furthermore, in addition to quantitative studies, discovering the older adults’ perceptions of their own health needs is also necessary. It seems that the challenge ahead of managers, experts and researchers on elderly health is trying to design comprehensive mechanisms of health need assessment and considering it as a reference for any future planning.
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