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Patient satisfaction: a valid index of quality of care in a psychiatric service

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Objective:To assess patients', clinicians' and referrers' satisfaction with care in newly referred psychiatric patients and to compare these with standard quality indicators such as waiting times used by the service.

Method:A random sample of all new adult psychiatric patients presenting over a 4‐month period in 2 successive years to an inner‐city psychiatric service was assessed.

Results:One hundred and thirteen (68%) of 167 randomly selected patients were seen. Independent evidence of service performance showed that patient satisfaction, but not clinician or referrer satisfaction, was a more accurate indicator of quality of care than standard indicators.

Conclusion:Simple ratings of patient satisfaction alone may be useful indicators of quality of psychiatric care.
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Keywords: audit of services; psychiatric referrals; quality of care; satisfaction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Mental Health, St Mary's Campus, Imperial College School of Medicine, Paterson Centre, 2: Brent, Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Mental Health NHS Trust, 209 Harrow Road, 3: South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, Denmark Hill and 4: Department of Mathematics, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, UK

Publication date: 01 April 2000

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