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Health needs assessment tools: Progress and potential

  • Mohsen Asadi-Lari (a1) and David Gray (a2)

Abstract

Objectives: Health needs has attracted the interest of policy-makers, health economists, and health professionals as modern health services try to satisfy individual and population health needs to optimize resource utilization. Health needs can be assessed by administering various types of survey or interview-based instruments. If health needs are to be satisfied in changing health agendas in developed and developing countries, it is essential to employ valid and reliable tools. Despite the importance of needs assessment, no comprehensive review of tools is currently available. We carried out a literature search to define and categorize existing health needs assessment tools.

Methods: We reviewed medical and social search engines for items containing specific health needs–related words to identify needs tools across a range of specialties. Papers were reviewed in terms of design, subject matter, psychometric features, and method of administration method.

Results: Thirty-one employed in 52 studies including cancer, mental health, palliative care, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular disease tools were identified.

Conclusions: This report summarizes available health needs instruments in a range of diseases to assist researchers in accessing health needs resources more easily and to encourage further research in this field.

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