Central to the role of mental health clinicians is the assessment of needs. A number of assessment tools have been used to evaluate the needs of individuals diagnosed with a mental illness. These tools have largely been developed for people with a severe and persistent mental illness and may not be suitable for individuals who are recovering from a first episode of mental illness. The aims of this review were therefore to identify the needs experienced by individuals recovering from a first episode of mental illness; determine what tools have been used to evaluate these needs; and explore whether existing tools adequately reflect the needs described in the literature. Twenty‐one articles were included, comprising articles which identified needs (n = 10), needs assessment tools (n = 1), or articles which identified both needs and a needs assessment tool (n = 10). Results indicate that individuals who have been admitted to a specialized mental health unit and are recovering from a first episode of mental illness may experience an extensive range of needs, spanning emotional, psychological, social, informational, functional, practical, and relationship needs. Four established needs assessment tools were found to have been used to evaluate these needs; however, these do not appear to represent all needs discovered in this review, were mostly developed for populations with a long‐term mental illness, and may not be suitable for assessing the needs of individuals recovering from a first episode of mental illness following a presentation to a specialized mental health unit.
Ellen L. Davies BHSc(Hons), BN, GDip Nurs(Addict & Mental Hlth) Andrea L. Gordon PhD, BSc(Hons) Lemuel J. Pelentsov PhD, BHSc(Hons), BN, GDip(Emerg) Kenneth J. Hooper BMBS, BSc(Hons) Psych, FRANZCP Cert Child & Adolesc Psych Adrian J. Esterman PhD, BSc(Hons), MSc, DLSHTM
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 05 July 2018