Impairment in activities of daily living and unmet need for care among older adults: a population-based study from Burkina Faso

Ben Brinkmann, Justine Davies, Miles D Witham, Guy Harling, Till Bärnighausen, Mamadou Bountogo, Mark J Siedner, Lucienne Ouermi, Jana Junghanns, Coulibaly Boubacar , Ali Sie, Collin F Payne, Iliana V. Kohler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The importance of impairment in performing Activities of Daily Living (ADL) is likely to increase in sub-Saharan Africa since few care options for affected people exist. This study investigated the prevalence of ADL impairment, the extent to which care-need was met and described characteristics of people with ADL impairment and unmet need in Burkina Faso.

Methods: This study used data from the CRSN Heidelberg Aging Study, a population-based study among 3,026 adults aged over 40 years conducted in rural Burkina Faso. Information on six basic ADL items was sought, with a follow-up question asking whether care-needs were not met, partially met or met. Bivariable correlations and multivariable logistic regression were used to determine sociodemographic and health characteristics associated with ADL impairment and unmet need.

Results: ADL impairment of any kind was reported by 1,202 (39.7%) respondents and was associated with older age (Adjusted Odds Ratio: 1.05 [95% CI: 1.04-1.06]), being a woman (1.33 [1.06-1.60]) and reporting depressive symptoms (1.90 [1.65-2.18]). Among those with ADL impairment, 67.8% had at least one unmet need. Severe ADL impairment was found in 202 (6.7%) respondents, who reported lower prevalence of unmet need (43.1%). Severe ADL impairment was associated with depressive symptoms (2.55 [2.11-3.07]) to a stronger degree than any ADL impairment.

Discussion: Prevalence of ADL impairment and unmet need was high in this setting. Variation in impairment across the population highlighted key groups for future interventions. Unmet need for care was highest in middle-aged adults, indicating a gap in care provision.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbergbab041
JournalThe journals of gerontology series B: psychological sciences and social sciences
Issue number00
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2021


  • Activity impairment
  • Care need
  • Health care
  • Epidemiology
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


Dive into the research topics of 'Impairment in activities of daily living and unmet need for care among older adults: a population-based study from Burkina Faso'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this