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Keywords:

  • Asian;
  • family carers;
  • instrument validation;
  • needs assessment;
  • nursing;
  • psychosocial;
  • schizophrenia

Aim.  This paper reports on a study to establish the profile of need for psychosocial family interventions and to examine the concurrent validity of the Relatives’ Cardinal Needs Schedule with an Asian population of carers in England, UK.

Background.  Although psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia have a strong evidence base, little is known of the needs of Asian families. A cardinal need is indicative of the existence of a problem causing the carer a strain for which the carer is willing to co-operate if help is offered and for which systematic help has not been provided in the last 12 months.

Methods.  The Relatives’ Cardinal Needs Schedule was used to assess needs in a small randomly selected sample of Asian carers in one English locality and to compare the results with independent measures of patient symptoms and carer distress.

Results.  Feedback from carers indicated that the Relatives’ Cardinal Needs Schedule was culturally acceptable and appropriate to their needs. There was evidence for the validity of the assessment in that there were large and statistically significant associations between the number of needs detected by the Relatives’ Cardinal Needs Schedule and independent measures of both carer distress (as measured by the 28 item General Health Questionnaire) and patient symptom severity (as reliably assessed from case notes).

Conclusion.  The Relatives’ Cardinal Needs Schedule may prove useful for nurses and service managers in establishing the need for psychosocial family interventions amongst Asian families in the United Kingdom.