Beyond symptom management: Family relations, unmet needs of persons living with severe mental illnesses, and potential implications for social work in South Africa.


This study examined the quality of family relationships and its associations with the severity of unmet needs of individuals admitted to a tertiary psychiatric hospital in South Africa. The quality of family relations and perceived unmet needs were assessed using the Lehman Quality of Life Interview and Camberwell Assessment of Needs, respectively. The results show that higher total unmet needs were associated with lower quality of family relations. The main areas of serious unmet needs included accessing government benefits and information, and establishing social relations. The results have implications for hospital-based social workers beyond managing psychiatric symptoms in South Africa.