Objectives. To compare the patients' needs (met, unmet and general) seen from perspective of the patient and his/her carer.
Method. Participants in the study were 60 patients receiving treatment in inpatient mental health facilities, as well as 60 key carers indicated by the patients. They all were asked to assess the patient's met, unmet and general needs using the Camberwell Assessment of Need, Short Appraisal Schedule (CANSAS).
Results. Carers systematically perceived more needs of their charges in all areas than did the patients themselves. A number of statistically significant relationships were found between met, unmet and general needs identified by the patients and their carers. Illness duration as well as the patient's age and gender were related to his/her perception of particular need categories. Female carers noticed more unmet needs of their charges.
Conclusions. In the process of an individual treatment plan development and evaluation not only the needs reported by the patient, but also these identified by his/her key carer should be taken into consideration. In the psychiatric therapeutic process the patients' treatment should be supplemented by interventions aimed at their caregivers. The aforementioned discrepancy between the patients' and their carers' assessment of patient needs should be one of important topics to be discussed in the treatment process; besides, it should become an outcome criterion in the evaluation of systemic interventions in psychiatry.