The Camberwell Assessment of Need as an Outcome Measure in Community Mental Health Care

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis was to critically examine the current use of the Camberwell Assessment of Need (CAN) in outcome assessment for service evaluation. A further aim was to propose a metric for assessing the adequacy of community mental health services in meeting ongoing needs over longer stretches of time.We made four prospective follow-up studies of CAN assessments of patients with severe mental illness in community-based mental health care.A factor analysis (n=741) gave support for a three-factor model, comprising only 60% of the CAN items. Need assessments (n= 92) in 1997 and 2003 were compared at both the summed total and the underlying item levels of the CAN. The mean total scores did not change, yet there were significant changes in the underlying items. Changes in mean number of needs between 1997 and 1999 were measured (n=262) with both total scores, summed over all CAN items, and with sub-total scores, summed over two sets of items reflecting the social services and the psychiatric services respectively. As indicated by the sub-total scores, all significant changes occurred within the psychiatric services, a result not possible to discern from the total scores. The Met Needs Index (MNI), defined by us as the aggregate measure of beneficial outcome, indicated that needs in general were met during 71% of the intervals between the annuals assessments from 1997 through 2004. However, the variation among particular items was large.In conclusion, the summary scores typically used as outcome measures are likely to conceal meaningful variation at the item level. Nevertheless, sub-total scores, being more transparent, might be more useful in outcome assessment. The MNI is a continuous, normally distributed metric, estimable over any number of consecutive assessments, which seems suitable for assessing the achieved benefit of services for patients with long-term ongoing needs.