Aim: This paper reports a study of psychiatric inpatient satisfaction with care in one Finnish psychiatric hospital, and explores the factors associated with satisfaction.
Background: Patient satisfaction is a central indicator for healthcare quality. Previous literature has shown that psychiatric inpatients are quite satisfied with their care in general, but have reported dissatisfaction in the areas of information access and compulsory care. Changes in the structure of Finnish mental health services due to dehospitalization have increased interest in exploring psychiatric patients' treatment experiences and general satisfaction.
Method: Data were collected in inpatient settings using a self-rating patient satisfaction questionnaire. A total of 316 patients leaving the study units during a 1-year period (May 2000-April 2001) was recruited. The response rate was 61% (n = 313).
Findings: In general, patients were quite satisfied with their care. Of seven different satisfaction areas, they were most satisfied with staff-patient relationships, and reported most dissatisfaction in the areas of information, restrictions, compulsory care and ward atmosphere/physical milieu. Younger and female patients were less satisfied with staff-patient relationships than older patients and men. manova (five factors, main effects and two-way interactions in the model) showed that male patients with occasional symptoms or symptoms persisting for less than a month were more satisfied with staff than were women. Further, when symptoms persisted for a month or up to 1 year or more, women were more satisfied with staff than men.
Conclusion: General patient satisfaction in psychiatric hospital care was good. However, more innovative methods for improvement in the areas of dissatisfaction need to be developed. Special attention should be paid to collaboration with young adults (18-24 years) and female patients with mental health problems of short duration.