Research assessing consumer satisfaction with mental health treatment: a review of findings

Eval Program Plann. 1983;6(3-4):211-36. doi: 10.1016/0149-7189(83)90003-4.


This article reviews the findings of studies examining consumer satisfaction with mental health treatment. Typically, published studies find the vast majority of patients satisfied with treatment. Despite the numerous methodological problems in this research, it remains highly probable that the majority of consumers are satisfied with the services received. More specific findings in this literature remain less well demonstrated; there generally are few studies relevant to each specific question and the methodology of these studies often has been weak. However, trends point to weak relationships between patient demographic variables and satisfaction; significant relationships between patient diagnosis, treatment history, and psychological status and satisfaction; strong relationships between length of treatment and manner of termination and satisfaction; a strong relationship between satisfaction and patient global report of outcome; and a weak relationship between satisfaction and therapist rating of outcome. Satisfaction also appears to be multidimensional, although a large general factor is evident in most studies. A number of additional findings are catalogued; and research lying outside the formal domain of satisfaction research, but relevant to this body of research, is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Health Services Research*
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • United States