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Exploring unmet need: The challenge of a user-centred response

This briefing paper – written to inform the JRF’s Older People’s research programme – explores the meaning of unmet need from the perspective of policy makers, service providers and older people.

Written by:
Mary Godfrey and Gill Callaghan
Date published:

Drawing on conceptions of need in the literature, the paper has as its starting point the view that need is socially constructed. It then examines existing research evidence and:

  • Makes explicit the assumptions underpinning policy and service conceptions of need;
  • Reviews what is known about levels of unmet need within this relatively narrow framework;
  • Examines the difficulties many older people experience in translating 'felt' need into requests for help;
  • Considers how a user conception of need might be developed.


1842631500.pdf (73.27 KB)