Beyond satisfaction, what service users expect of inpatient mental health care: a literature review

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2009 Dec;16(10):927-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01501.x.


To provide efficient and effective inpatient mental health services, it is imperative to not only ascertain if service users are satisfied with the care received from nurses, but also the degree to which initial expectations are being met. Ten reports of primary research on service users' experiences, perceptions and expectations of inpatient mental health care were examined to understand what service users' expect of inpatient mental health care and the implications for nursing practice. The World Health Organization's description of responsiveness to service users' non-medical expectations of care was used as a framework for retrieving literature and organizing the research outcomes. Responsiveness includes seven categories of healthcare performance ranging from respect for the dignity of the person, to adequacy of amenities, and choice of provider. Service users expect to form interpersonal relationships with nurses; however, non-clinical responsibilities serve as barriers which consume considerable available nursing time that otherwise could be spent developing therapeutic relationships. In addition, inpatient programming ideas are identified for the provision of better services. Hospitals' expectations of mental health nurses will need to be reconsidered if these nurses are to provide the time and resources necessary to meet current service users' expectations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Australia
  • Counseling / methods
  • England
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / nursing*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Mental Health Services*
  • New Zealand
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Self-Help Groups
  • United States