Background: Social support programs are a critical component of care for psychiatric patients living in community or residential settings. There is little information, however, on how to optimally deliver these services in the Japanese context. Methods: We selected ten community life support centers for patients with major mental illness and administered questionnaires to 199 pairs of patients and staff members. These questionnaires consisted of twenty-six items from six categories: Difficulties with interpersonal relationships; risks to physical well-being; risks to mental health; difficulties with life skills; challenges regarding living conditions; risks towards community safety. For each of these items, patients were asked whether they had experienced difficulties during the previous month, and staff members were asked the extent to which their patients needed support. Results: The results demonstrated that staff members tended to understate patients' needs regarding chronic medical conditions (p < 0.01), dietary habits (< 0.01), and excessive smoking or alcohol drinking (< 0.05). On the other hand, staff members recognized patients' needs regarding mental health problems to a greater extent than patients themselves (< 0.05). Conclusion: Results of this study suggest that social services geared towards specific tasks of daily living form an important component of comprehensive care for psychiatric patients living in community settings in Japan.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Phychiatric Mental Health
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health