Relative Perceptions of the Needs of Inpatients with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders Academic Article uri icon


  • Although there is a consensus that mental health services should be provided on the basis of need, the concept of client needs differs substantially among professionals, patients and involved family members. The aim of the present study was to identify the needs of patients repeatedly hospitalized with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders and to compare them with the needs rated by their nursing staff and relatives. Using the Camber well Assessment of Need (CAN), we surveyed 52 consecutive voluntarily re-admitted inpatients aged 18- 65 fulfilling the ICD-10 criteria for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. Analysis of variance and post-hoc t-test single comparisons were performed to examine the between-groups differences in the number of unmet needs rated by patients, clinical staff and family members. Significant differences in the perceptions of the patients and staff occurred in only 6 of the 22 CAN domains, with the patients rating higher the needs for "information on condition and treatment" and "benefits," and the staff member rating higher the patients' needs for "intimate relationships,"; "safety for others," "self-care" and "daytime activities." The analogical differences occurred between the patients and their relatives in the same need areas. Comparing the needs assessments from different perspectives provides a powerful means of patient evaluation and is potentially valuable information for care planning.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008