Unmet needs for help among persons with AIDS

M. Y. Smith, B. D. Rapkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Current trends in AIDS care in the United States, including dehospitalization and improved outpatient treatment, may place many persons with AIDS (PWAs) at increased risk for having unmet need for help with daily living demands. Using interviews with 224 PWAs, we examined the prevalence and correlates of unmet need for assistance across six functional domains: personal care, instrumental activities of daily living (e.g. home chores, using transportation), social functioning, role performance, taking care of one’s health and negotiating systems. Overall, 74.1% of respondents reported having either a partially or completely unmet need for help in one or more areas of functioning. Unmet need for help was highest for instrumental activities of daily living (46.4%). Unmet need was associated with illness severity (i.e. more symptoms and hospitalizations), minority status and support network characteristics (proximity, size and type of supporters). Implications of unmet needs data for improving the clinical care of PWAs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalAIDS Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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