2005 issue 4


Volume 14, issue 4

Original article

Patient satisfaction with community-based psychiatric care

Katarzyna Prot1, Maciej Pałyska1, Marta Anczewska1, Anna Indulska1, Joanna Raduj1
1. Zespołu do Spraw Jakości Usług Medycznych Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2005; 14 (4): 299-304
Keywords: quality of medical services, patient satisfaction, community care


Objectives. Patient satisfaction is an important variable in patients' assessment of psychiatric care quality. Constant monitoring and taking into account patient opinions in the process of changing the type or manner of care provision is a prerequisite of such assessment. The aim of the study was to evaluate quality of community psychiatric care provision to patients, as well as usefulness of the Verona scale (VSSS-4) for the purpose.

Methods. Participants in the study were 55 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, receiving psychiatric care in a day hospital, outpatient clinic, or from a mobile community team. The patients were asked by their doctor or therapist to anonymously fill out the 54-item VSSS-54 questionnaire and then insert it into a sealed box.

Results. The patients were more satisfied with the services received than with the amount of time devoted to them. Among the assessed categories skills and behaviors of the staff were allotted the highest mean ratings. Information concerning the patient 's health status (diagnosis and prognosis) was more frequently positively evaluated than that about the offer and programs available at the facility. Treatment expenditure was less often positively assessed than was attractiveness of therapeutic settings. Activities targeted on the patient received the most positive ratings, while these aimed at an improvement of interpersonal relations were evaluated less positively. The main organizational shortcomings consisted in an incomplete continuity of care, especially during holidays, weekends, and at night. The patients were dissatisfied with collaboration with their families in the treatment process. Some therapeutic interventions were assessed most positively, but a considerable number of interventions were not eligible for evaluation, being never encountered by the patients.

Conclusions. The Verona scale is a good instrument for the measurement of patient satisfaction with community care. There is a need for an enlargement of the range of community care by inclusion of interventions provided at the patient's home, collaboration with the family, and co-operation with social welfare centers. For practical purposes it would be important to replicate the study on a larger sample ofpatients in care of the same psychiatric facility.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Katarzyna Prot, Zespół do Spraw Jakości Usług Medycznych Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii, ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa