Unmet needs in the community: can existing services meet them?

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Objective:This prospective study of community cases examined: (a) needs for care; (b) whether services meet the needs; and (c) personal factors associated with unmet needs.Method:Two separate 'Needs for Care Assessment Schedule - Community version' evaluations identified 38 subjects with No Need (NN), 19 with Met Needs (MN) and 25 with Unmet Needs (UNM). Other instruments included the Diagnostic Interview Schedule - Abridged Version (DISSA) and repeated measures of symptoms and social functioning.Results:(a) Cases did not equate needs. (b) Services utilization did not equate having met needs. (c) Respondents with UNM were more likely to present high rates of lifetime DSM-III-R disorders, no marital relationship ever, no employment, high rates of life events, and physical or sexual abuse in childhood. They have worse outcome in terms of distress and social functioning.Conclusion:Personnal factors may prevent respondents from seeking, engaging and benefiting from treatment.

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