OBJECTIVE: In Italy, mental health care is in phase of reorganisation. In this frame the measurement of users' needs may be a useful tool in planning individualised mental health service interventions and in their evaluation. Aims of the present study are (I) to highlight the basic concepts of 'needs for care' and give a brief description of the main needs assessment tools specifically developed for psychiatric patients; (II) to review studies assessing needs for mental health services in the general population; (III) to discuss the role played by the assessment of needs in planning mental health care. METHODS: Studies published in the international literature from January 1980 to June 1999 were reviewed. The studies were located through a computerised search of the databases MEDLINE and PsycLit; in addition, the reference lists of the studies located through the computerised search and the content of main international psychiatric journals were manually scanned in order to avoid possible omissions. Studies assessing needs for services and studies assessing needs on individual level were separately reviewed. Both groups of studies, in turn, were divided in studies assessing needs for mental health care in the general population and in psychiatric patients. RESULTS: Although most studies on needs for services used indirect methodologies and employed quite heterogeneous experimental design, they provide at large overlapping results. In the general population, about 60%-70% of patients with anxiety, depression and other neurotic disorders and 30%-40% of psychotic patients do not receive any specialist mental health care, suggesting that the majority of subjects suffering from a psychiatric disorder do not receive the mental health care they need. CONCLUSIONS: Unmet needs for services show a higher frequency in patients with neurotic and depressive disorders, indicating a shortage in services delivery that should be taken into account both by psychiatrists and mental health planners. Moreover, the finding that a large number of patients suffering from psychotic disorders do not receive any kind of mental health care is of particular relevance for planning mental health services, since these subjects are usually the most problematic and difficult to treat.

Needs for care in psychiatric patients: A systematic review. I. General concepts and assessment measures. Needs for services.

LASALVIA, Antonio;RUGGERI, Mirella
2000

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: In Italy, mental health care is in phase of reorganisation. In this frame the measurement of users' needs may be a useful tool in planning individualised mental health service interventions and in their evaluation. Aims of the present study are (I) to highlight the basic concepts of 'needs for care' and give a brief description of the main needs assessment tools specifically developed for psychiatric patients; (II) to review studies assessing needs for mental health services in the general population; (III) to discuss the role played by the assessment of needs in planning mental health care. METHODS: Studies published in the international literature from January 1980 to June 1999 were reviewed. The studies were located through a computerised search of the databases MEDLINE and PsycLit; in addition, the reference lists of the studies located through the computerised search and the content of main international psychiatric journals were manually scanned in order to avoid possible omissions. Studies assessing needs for services and studies assessing needs on individual level were separately reviewed. Both groups of studies, in turn, were divided in studies assessing needs for mental health care in the general population and in psychiatric patients. RESULTS: Although most studies on needs for services used indirect methodologies and employed quite heterogeneous experimental design, they provide at large overlapping results. In the general population, about 60%-70% of patients with anxiety, depression and other neurotic disorders and 30%-40% of psychotic patients do not receive any specialist mental health care, suggesting that the majority of subjects suffering from a psychiatric disorder do not receive the mental health care they need. CONCLUSIONS: Unmet needs for services show a higher frequency in patients with neurotic and depressive disorders, indicating a shortage in services delivery that should be taken into account both by psychiatrists and mental health planners. Moreover, the finding that a large number of patients suffering from psychotic disorders do not receive any kind of mental health care is of particular relevance for planning mental health services, since these subjects are usually the most problematic and difficult to treat.
Mental health service planning; Needs for care; Needs for service;
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/21973
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