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Improving the Validity of Measures of Patient Satisfaction With Psychiatric Care and Treatment
Matt Elbeck; Gary Fecteau
Psychiatric Services 1990; doi:
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Department of Business Administration and Economics at the State University of New York, College at Brockport, Faculty Office Building, Brockport, New York 14420

Saint John Mental Health Clinic in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

1990 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Surveys of consumer satisfaction with psychiatric services are frequently induded in program evaluations, ostensibly providing the patient's perspective. However, the consistently high levels of satisfaction reported, despite a wide variety of measures, suggest that these surveys may be of questionable validity. Recognizing that most surveys ask patients to rate aspects of care that professionals feel are important, the authors used a focus-group method to generate attributes of ideal care from the patient's viewpoint. A pool of 50 patient-generated items were rated for importance by a second group of inpatients on locked units of a provincial psychiatric hospital. A factor analysis and mean importance ratings identified interpersonal relations with staff as a key factor of patient satisfaction. The authors designed a seven-item measure of satisfaction based on this key factor.

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