Depression disorder is a chronic mental illness which will reduce functions in body and mental. The primary caregivers also have large burden and pressure in caring patients. Mental health care system should consider the need of the depression patients and the caregivers in the same time when providing services. The purpose of this research was to discuss the need of the depression patients and the primary caregivers in health care needs and social care needs. The seven couples of the depression patients and their primary caregivers were collected from a psychiatric outpatient department and hospitalization in Taichung from February to May in 2006. The data gather by face to face depth interviewing, observation and documental and was analyzed by grounded theory to get the results.
The results revealed that the health care needs were requisite including 24-hour psychiatric emergency, primary consultant and depression wards for primary caregivers in facing acute conditions. Moreover, the other services were also needed including day care center, home care and neighboring community rehabilitation center for primary caregivers in facing stable conditions. The health care needs for the patients were depression ward hospitalization and home care. However, the needs of outpatient services were to diminish the waiting time to see a doctor and more time to communicate with the doctor. The hospital could not provide personal treatment such as available hospital beds and appropriate wards for depression disorder.
The social care needs for the caregivers were 11 categories including knowledge, techniques, care principle, support system, household service and respite care. The social care needs for the patients were 6 categories including associate information, teams and support system. The patients and the caregivers usually felt helpless due to uncertain about the original symptom and how to seek help. The people get insufficient information for the depression disorder and the depression patients diagnosed were also confused this disease.
The results suggested that it is necessary to provide multiple assistances by communal service for caregivers in this study. It is also suggested that more time for patient communicating with doctors, more depression wards especially for patients, and more information for people education were needed.
The future work will focus on the different needs of the depression patients and the primary caregivers among the different areas and among the different age groups to provide information for mental health care system.