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Influence of patient and hospital factors on consumer satisfaction with inpatient mental health treatment
Psychiatric Services 1997; doi:
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OBJECTIVE: This study examines patient- and facility-related determinants of satisfaction with inpatient mental health services. METHODS: A random sample of veterans discharged from Department of Veterans Affairs inpatient units with primary diagnoses of a psychiatric or substance use disorder (N = 13,574) were mailed a 73- item questionnaire that addressed aspects of their recent hospital experience. Multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between patient and hospital characteristics and both the likelihood of responding to the survey and aspects of satisfaction measured by 14 subscales. RESULTS: A total of 4,968 veterans, or 37 percent, mailed back responses to the questionnaire. Respondents were older than nonrespondents and were more likely to be white and married and to have nonpsychotic disorders other than substance use disorders. The strongest and most consistent predictors of satisfaction were older age and better self-reported health. Longer length of stay was also associated with greater satisfaction on a majority of subscales. Findings among female and minority veterans were mixed across measures. Large facilities and facilities that specialize in mental health treatment had lower levels of satisfaction than others. Patient characteristics accounted for more of the variance in satisfaction than did facility characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Older and healthier patients reported greater satisfaction with mental health care services. Accurate comparison of patient satisfaction between facilities requires that adjustments be made for differences in patient characteristics. Large facilities may need to make special efforts to personalize their services.

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