Comprehensive mental health needs assessment study: the case of Slovenia
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National Institute of Public Health, Ljubljana, Slovenia
National Institute of Public Health Ljubljana, Slovenia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1251
Background and Objective: Needs assessment is important especially during the times of change within the health care system, aiming to prepare good evaluation and valuable implementation of practices that best suit the people in need. It is also an important factor within a continuous process of quality improvement. In order to address the needs comprehensively the aim of the study was to assess them from different perspectives. Methods: At the systemic level the Delphi study (with 49 stakeholders: service providers, decision-makers and service users) was carried out. Individual needs of people with mental health problems were assessed using Camberwell needs assessment tool by professionals (206 patients participated) and through measuring patient experiences within newly developed mental health centres (64 patients participated). Results: The major needs recognized at the systemic level are the needs for companionship and peer support; continuous implementation of destigmatization campaigns; continuous training, supervision and connected work among all professionals and in all sectors within each service; accommodation facilities with different levels of support; needs for strengthening the network of day-care centres. According to professionals one third of the patients are dealing with the needs about self-care, intimate relationship and company. Around half of the patients feel psychological distress and have the needs in physical health, on daytime activities and needs information on condition and treatment. The majority of patients have reported that they can manage their mental health problem better than before joining the treatment. The needs for quality and patient-centred care were addressed. The treatment timeframe is a potential unmet need since a quarter of patients reported to have mental health problems for more than three years before seeking professional help. Conclusions: Future qualitative needs assessment is vital to address the problems of help seeking as well stigma from patients’ as well as professionals’ perspective.