Self-Rated Assessment of Needs for Mental Health Care: A Qualitative Analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • This study explored perceived mental health-related needs and barriers to meeting them in primary and mental health care settings. Fifty-one participants completed the Perceived Need for Care Questionnaire and an interview to qualitatively explore the meanings behind self-identified needs for medication, information, counselling, practical help, and skills development. Qualitative content analysis indicated perceived needs for care are multifaceted. Dissatisfaction with taking medication may coexist with perceiving medication needs as met; information needs predominantly concerned wanting to better understand one's illness; and communication was the main perceived barrier to meeting these needs. Counselling-related needs included being listened to, supported or assisted with problem-solving, with service attitudes, staff expertise or cost seen as limiting access. Needs for practical help and skills development were described as unmet or addressed by family, and help-seeking for these needs constrained by efforts to self-manage, insufficient information, and affordability. Collaborative care and information-sharing appear important to better meet mental health-related perceived needs.


  • Fossey, Ellie
  • Harvey, Carol
  • Mokhtari, Mohammadreza R
  • Meadows, Graham N

publication date

  • August 2012

has subject area