Skip to main content

Patient satisfaction with psychiatric outpatient care in a university hospital setting

  • John Lally (a1), Fintan Byrne (a2) (a3), Eimear McGuire (a3) and Colm McDonald (a2) (a3)

To measure patient satisfaction with psychiatric outpatient care in a university hospital setting. We wished to ascertain whether there was an association between increased patient satisfaction and background factors such as demographic details, diagnosis and patient preference for outpatient treatment in a hospital or a community setting.


We conducted a cross-sectional survey of individuals’ satisfaction levels with their outpatient treatment. Outpatients were invited to complete the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8 (CSQ-8), a well validated self-report instrument, along with some additional questions on their attitudes to the service.


One hundred and sixty-two respondents had a mean total CSQ-8 score of 26.7 (s.d. = 4.6) indicating a moderate to high level of satisfaction with outpatient care. Ninety percent of patients were satisfied with their psychiatric outpatient care. There were no significant sociodemographic or clinical associations with satisfaction levels identified. Sixty one percent of patients were in favour of retaining outpatient care in the university hospital.


This study demonstrates high satisfaction levels with psychiatric outpatient care in a university hospital setting. The majority of patients expressed a preference for maintaining outpatient care in the general hospital setting, rather than transferring to a stand-alone mental health facility in a suburban setting.

Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: J. Lally, Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King's College London, King's Health Partners, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. (Email
Hide All
Attkisson CC, Zwick R (1982). The client satisfaction questionnaire. Psychometric properties and correlations with service utilization and psychotherapy outcome. Evaluation and Program Planning 5, 233237.
Barak Y, Szor H, Kimhi R, Kam E, Mester R, Elizur A (2001). Survey of patient satisfaction in adult psychiatric outpatient clinics. European Psychiatry 16, 131133.
Barker DA, Shergill SS, Higginson I, Orrell MW (1996). Patients’ views towards care received from psychiatrists. British Journal of Psychiatry 168, 641646.
Berghofer G, Lang A, Henkel H, Schmidl F, Rudas S, Schmitz M (2001). Satisfaction of inpatients and outpatients with staff, environment, and other patients. Psychiatric Services 52, 104106.
Blenkiron P, Hammill CA (2003). What determines patients’ satisfaction with their mental health care and quality of life? Postgraduate Medical Journal 79, 337340.
Davy B, Keizer I, Croquette P, Bertschy G, Ferrero F, Gex-Fabry M, Bondolfi G (2009). Patient satisfaction with psychiatric outpatient care in Geneva: a survey in different treatment settings. Schweizer archive fur neurologie und psychiatrie 160, 240245.
Greenwood N, Key A, Burns T, Bristow M, Sedgwick P (1999). Satisfaction with in-patient psychiatric services. Relationship to patient and treatment factors. British Journal of Psychiatry 174, 159163.
Haycox A, Unsworth L, Allen K, Hodgson R, Lewis M, Boardman AP (1999). North Staffordshire Community Beds Study: longitudinal evaluation of psychiatric in-patient units attached to community mental health centres. 2: Impact upon costs and resource use. British Journal of Psychiatry 175, 7986.
Henderson C, Phelan M, Loftus L, Dall'agnola R, Ruggeri M (1999). Comparison of patient satisfaction with community-based vs. hospital psychiatric services. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 99, 188195.
Hill S, Turner N, Barry S, O'callaghan E (2009). Client satisfaction among outpatients attending an Irish community mental health service. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 26, 128130.
Holcomb WR, Parker JC, Leong GB, Thiele J, Higdon J (1998). Customer satisfaction and self-reported treatment outcomes among psychiatric inpatients. Psychiatric Services 49, 929934.
Hse (2006). A Vision for Change. Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy. Department of Health and Children & Health Service Executive: Dublin, Ireland.
Hse (2008). National Strategy for Service User Involvement in the Health Service 2008–2013. Department of Health and Children & Health Service Executive: Dublin, Ireland.
Jabbar F, Casey P, Schelten SL, Kelly BD (2011). What do you think of us? Evaluating patient knowledge of and satisfaction with a psychiatric outpatient service. Irish Journal of Medical Science 180, 195201.
Kessing LV, Hansen HV, Ruggeri M, Bech P (2006). Satisfaction with treatment among patients with depressive and bipolar disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 41, 148155.
Killaspy H, Gledhill J, Banerjee S (1998). Satisfaction of attenders and non-attenders with their treatments at psychiatric out-patient clinics. Psychiatric Bulletin 22, 612615.
Larsen DL, Attkisson CC, Hargreaves WA, Nguyen TD (1979). Assessment of client/patient satisfaction: development of a general scale. Evaluation and Program Planning 2, 197207.
Mattsson M, Lawoko S, Cullberg J, Olsson U, Hansson L, Forsell Y (2005). Background factors as determinants of satisfaction with care among first-episode psychosis patients. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 40, 749754.
Mazor KM, Clauser BE, Field T, Yood RA, Gurwitz JH (2002). A demonstration of the impact of response bias on the results of patient satisfaction surveys. Health Services Research 37, 14031417.
Mcintyre K, Farrell M, David A (1989). In-patient psychiatric care: the patient's view. British Journal of Medical Psychology 62, 249255.
Mental health commission (2007a). Quality Framework for Mental Health Services in Ireland. Mental Health Commission 2007. Dublin: Ireland.
Oltedal S, Garratt A, Johannessen JO (2007). Psychiatric outpatients’ experiences with specialized health care delivery. A Norwegian national survey. Journal of Mental Health 16, 271279.
Ruggeri M (1994). Patients’ and relatives’ satisfaction with psychiatric services: the state of the art of its measurement. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 29, 212227.
Ruggeri M, Salvi G, Perwanger V, Phelan M, Pellegrini N, Parabiaghi A (2006). Satisfaction with community and hospital-based emergency services amongst severely mentally ill service users: a comparison study in South-Verona and South-London. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 41, 302309.
Ruggeri M, Lasalvia A, Salvi G, Cristofalo D, Bonetto C, Tansella M (2007). Applications and usefulness of routine measurement of patients’ satisfaction with community-based mental health care. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplement 437, 5365.
Ruggeri M, Lasalvia A, Bisoffi G, Thornicroft G, Vazquez-Barquero JL, Becker T, Knapp M, Knudsen HC, Schene A, Tansella M (2003). Satisfaction with mental health services among people with schizophrenia in five European sites: results from the EPSILON Study. Schizophr Bull 29, 229245.
Saila T, Mattila E, Kaila M, Aalto P, Kaunonen M (2008). Measuring patient assessments of the quality of outpatient care: a systematic review. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 14, 148154.
Soelling ME, Newell TG (1983). Effects of anonymity and experimenter demand on client satisfaction with mental health services. Evaluation and Program Planning 6, 329333.
Westerbrook R, Oliver RL (1991). The dimensionality of consumption emotion patterns and consumer satisfaction. Journal of Consumer Research 7, 8186.
Wetherell JL, Kaplan RM, Kallenberg G, Dresselhaus TR, Sieber WJ, Lang AJ (2004). Mental health treatment preferences of older and younger primary care patients. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 34, 219233.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0790-9667
  • EISSN: 2051-6967
  • URL: /core/journals/irish-journal-of-psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 27 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 243 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.