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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 49 (2007) 5, 305 - 314

New research

Can the “Camberwell Assessment of Need” predict changes in care consumption?

M. Drukker, M. Bak, G. Driessen, J. van Os, P.A.E.G. Delespaul

background Because of the shift in the Dutch psychiatric care system towards care based on actual need, we should have some kind of instrument for assessing the future need for care. The Camberwell Assessment of Need (can) is such an instrument. It is particularly useful when there is a clear link between the need for care and the consumption of care.
aim To study whether the can is a predictor of (changes in) care consumption.
method The Maastricht Cumulative Needs for Care Monitor (cncm) involves an interview with all patients with psychotic disorders who are in care in the Maastricht region. The interview takes place at intake and thereafter annually. The main instrument of the cncm is the can, but other instruments are also included. cncm data are matched with care consumption data extracted from the Psychiatric Case Register South Limburg, including both care consumption in the year before and in the year after the cncm assessment.
results Patients with intermediate or higher levels of need for care were found to use more inpatient care than patients with lower levels of need for care. In addition, the results showed that a high level of need for care was a predictor of shifts from low inpatient care consumption to high inpatient care consumption, although statistically imprecise by conventional alpha.
conclusion The can may well be a valuable instrument for assessing future inpatient care consumption.

keywords health services needs and demands, mental health services, psychotic disorders