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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
SJR: 0.121 SNIP: 0.228 CiteScore™: 0.17

ISSN Druckformat: 0896-2960
ISSN Online: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.v10.i1.40
pages 57-73

Needs Assessment Methods in Healthcare and Rehabilitation

Maria Mullersdorf
Centre of Caring Sciences, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden; Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden
Ingrid Soderback
1Centre of Caring Sciences, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden department of Rehabilitation Medicine Clinic, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden


When community financial resources are reduced and need and demand for health services are increasing, needs assessment in rehabilitation/occupational therapy (OT) becomes an issue of priority. The aims of this study were, through an analysis of 39 relevant articles and 11 textbooks: (1) to identify concept about how needs assessment should be conducted and (2) to compare these results with an analysis of how they have been conducted in practice. The review indicated four main approaches, including different elements of research: design, source, data collection, and data analysis. All the elements could be combined independently in different ways. Five of the articles explicitly studied occupational therapy and one rehabilitation. The areas most frequently assessed concerned persons with mental illness (25%) and physical disabilities (21%). Most of the studies were conducted with survey-designs (81%), the main sources being patients (57%) and key-informants (36%). In 26% of the studies, several sources were used and in 33% several methods of data collection. This multiple approach is recommended as a check that the data are reliable. The ways of collecting data most frequently used, however, were questionnaires (57%) and interviews (46%). Descriptive statistics (82%) were mostly used for analysis.
The possible ways of conducting needs assessment in rehabilitation/OT were not fully used in the empirical studies. The field scarcity of articles concerning needs assessment in occupational therapy indicates that this field has evidently not yet been fully explored.