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Unmet needs in the management of schizophrenia

Authors Torres-González F, Ibanez-Casas I, Saldivia S, Ballester D, Grandón P, Moreno-Küstner B, Xavier M, Gómez-Beneyto M

Received 24 September 2013

Accepted for publication 19 November 2013

Published 16 January 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 97—110


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Francisco Torres-González,1,8 Inmaculada Ibanez-Casas,1,8 Sandra Saldivia,2,8 Dinarte Ballester,3,8 Pamela Grandón,4,8 Berta Moreno-Küstner,5,8 Miguel Xavier,6,8 Manuel Gómez-Beneyto7,8

1Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, University of Granada, Spain; 2Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Concepcion, Chile; 3Sistema de Saúde Mãe de Deus, Escola Superior de Saúde, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil; 4Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Concepcion, Chile; 5Andalusian Psychosocial Research Group and Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment, Faculty of Psychology, University of Malaga, Spain; 6Department of Mental Health, NOVA Medical School, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; 7Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, University of Valencia, Spain; 8Maristán Network, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Abstract: Studies on unmet needs during the last decades have played a significant role in the development and dissemination of evidence-based community practices for persistent schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders. This review has thoroughly considered several blocks of unmet needs, which are frequently related to schizophrenic disorders. Those related to health have been the first block to be considered, in which authors have examined the frequent complications and comorbidities found in schizophrenia, such as substance abuse and dual diagnosis. A second block has been devoted to psychosocial and economic needs, especially within the field of recovery of the persistently mentally ill. Within this block, the effects of the current economic difficulties shown in recent literature have been considered as well. Because no patient is static, a third block has reviewed evolving needs according to the clinical staging model. The fourth block has been dedicated to integrated evidence-based interventions to improve the quality of life of persons with schizophrenia. Consideration of community care for those reluctant to maintain contact with mental health services has constituted the fifth block. Finally, authors have aggregated their own reflections regarding future trends. The number of psychosocial unmet needs is extensive. Vast research efforts will be needed to find appropriate ways to meet them, particularly regarding so-called existential needs, but many needs could be met only by applying existing evidence-based interventions. Reinforcing research on the implementation strategies and capacity building of professionals working in community settings might address this problem. The final aim should be based on the collaborative model of care, which rests on the performance of a case manager responsible for monitoring patient progress, providing assertive follow-up, teaching self-help strategies, and facilitating communication among the patient, family doctor, mental health specialist, and other specialists.

Keywords: schizophrenia, needs, unmet needs, severe mental disorders

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