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Article   |    
Family members' ratings of the use and value of mental health services: results of a national NAMI survey
Psychiatric Services 1996; doi:
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Data from a 1993 survey of families in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) were analyzed to examine services used by consumers and families' perceptions of the services' value. Data from 1993 and 1976 were compared to document changes. METHODS: A total of 3,099 families responded to a mailed questionnaire that was first used in a 1976 local survey of 89 NAMI members. Respondents indicated which of 11 services had been used by their ill relative in the past two years and rated the services as having "no," "some," or "considerable" value. Chi square tests examined relationships between service use and value and key variables. RESULTS: In 1993 families reported nearly universal use of medications and rated them highest in value. More than 60 percent of the ill relatives had been hospitalized in the past two years, and hospitalization was rated second highest in value. Individual therapy, used by two-thirds of the consumers, also received high ratings. Community services were used by about a third of the consumers; these services were valued less highly than office-based services and medications. Respondents in 1976 reported less use of medication and residential services, more hospitalization, and more use of individual, group, and family therapies. In 1993 all services were valued more highly than in 1976. CONCLUSIONS: The 1993 survey findings showed that more consumers used office-based services and hospitalization than community-based alternatives, and that families rated the former services more highly. Value ratings of community services rose significantly between 1976 and 1993.

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