The bridge between research and practice: updates from Open Minds.
Access to mental health services: “I am not satisfied!”
Researchers suggest that the involvement of relatives in the process of care and information about illness are the satisfaction domains where the mental health services in most sites show the worst performance.
Satisfaction with services has been given increasing attention in mental health services research, as it represents a key component of patients’ access and retention.
Service satisfaction can be seen as the combined result of (1) the ability of the service to provide a standard of care above a certain quality threshold (e.g., in professional competence, or the availability of specific interventions, or the physical characteristics of the treatment setting), and (2) the perception of the patient that the care received has been tailored to his or her own problems.
A cross sectional study (Ruggieri 2003) that involved five European sites (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Santander and Verona) have shown that:
1- users’ characteristics (such as psychopathology or global functioning) have a weak association with service satisfaction,
2- service characteristics (such as involvement of relatives in care and information about illness) play a major role in service satisfaction in all countries.
Specifically, patients consider relatives’ involvement in the process of care as one of the most important dimensions when evaluating service satisfaction and that the majority of patients are in favor of sharing information between relatives and professionals. This process demands a closer collaboration between mental health professionals and family members.
In conclusion, researchers suggest that the involvement of relatives in the process of care and information about illness are the satisfaction domains where the mental health services in most sites show the worst performance.
Data demonstrate the importance of obtaining a better understanding of patients’ and caregivers’ satisfaction with services in order to increase their involvement in community integration.
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- Ruggeri M, Lasalvia A, Bisoffi G, Thornicroft G, Vàzquez-Barquero JL, Becker T, Knapp M, Knudsen HC, Schene A, Tansella M; EPSILON Study Group. Satisfaction with mental health services among people with schizophrenia in five European sites: results from the EPSILON Study. Schizophr Bull. 2003;29(2):229-45.
- Perreault M, Rousseau M, Provencher H, Roberts S, Milton D. (2011) Predictors of caregiver satisfaction with mental health services Community Ment Health J. 2012 Apr;48(2):232-7.