Research into Recovery and Wellbeing

A website about the work of the recovery research team at the Institute of Mental Health

The University of Nottingham

Adult Camberwell Assessment of Need (CAN)

Adult Camberwell Assessment of Need (CAN)

The adult Camberwell Assessment of Need (CAN) is used to understand the health and social needs of adults who have severe mental health problems. It covers 22 domains of an individual's life, such as accommodation, food, self-care, daytime activities, psychotic symptoms, childcare, money, psychological distress, physical health and relationships.

There are four versions of the adult CAN for use in clinical work and in research studies.

All versions of the adult CAN measure the ‘need rating’ for each domain. The need rating is either 'Unmet need' (a current serious problem), 'Met need' (no problem because of help given) or 'No need' (not a problem). This need rating has proven useful in working with individuals (for clinical purposes) and for research.

Versions of the adult CAN

The four versions of the adult CAN are:

Camberwell Assessment of Need Short Appraisal Schedule (CANSAS)
CANSAS is a one-page version that can be used in routine clinical work or as an outcome measure in research studies. It assesses the need rating for each of the 22 CAN domains. The perspective of staff, service users and informal carers are recorded separately. Information is recorded on CANSAS by staff.

CANSAS-P
CANSAS-P is a two-page version intended for self-completion by service users. It assesses the service user’s perceptions about their needs in each of the 22 CAN domains.

CAN-Clinical (CAN-C)
The CAN-C is a 22-page detailed assessment, which measures the need rating, help received from formal and informal sources, and records an action plan for each domain.

CAN-Research (CAN-R)
The CAN-R is a 22-page detailed assessment, which measures the need rating, help received from formal and informal sources, and satisfaction for each domain.

All except CANSAS-P are in included in the book:

CAN: Camberwell Assessment of Need
Mike Slade, Graham Thornicroft, Linda Loftus, Michael Phelan and Til Wykes.
June 1999,
 published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

You can download CANSAS-P here.

Which version of the adult CAN should I use?

The most useful data to emerge from research using CAN have been the level of met and unmet need. Therefore, CANSAS or CANSAS-P will be the most appropriate version for most uses.

Download sample adult CAN pages

Sample page from CAN-C
Sample page from CAN-R
Sample CANSAS