Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Service user, patient, client, user or survivor: describing recipients of mental health services

  • Peter Simmons (a1), Chris J. Hawley (a1) (a2), Tim M. Gale (a1) and Thanusha Sivakumaran (a1)

Abstract

Aims and method

To determine which terms receivers of mental health services wish to be known by (service user, patient, client, user, survivor) according to the professional consulted (psychiatrist, nurse, psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist). We conducted a questionnaire study to assess terms by like or dislike and by rank order. There were 336 participants from local catchment area secondary care community and in-patient settings in east Hertfordshire.

Results

Patient is the preferred term when consulted by psychiatrists and nurses, but it is equally preferable to client for social workers and occupational therapists. Service user is disliked more than liked overall, particularly by those who consulted a health professional, but not by those who consulted a social worker. A significant minority wish to be regarded as a survivor or user.

Clinical implications

National and local mental health services should adopt evidence-based terminology in referring to ‘patient’ or, in some groups, ‘patient or client’ in preference to ‘service user’.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Service user, patient, client, user or survivor: describing recipients of mental health services
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Service user, patient, client, user or survivor: describing recipients of mental health services
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Service user, patient, client, user or survivor: describing recipients of mental health services
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Footnotes

Hide All

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
1 General Medical Council. Good Medical Practice. GMC, 2006 (http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/good_medical_practice/duties_of_a_doctor.asp).
2 Nursing and Midwifery Council. The Code: Standards of Conduct, Performacne and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives. NMC, 2008 (http://www.nmc-uk.org/aDisplayDocument.aspx?documentID=5982).
3 British Association of Social Workers. The Code of Ethics for Social Work. BASW, 2002 (http://www.basw.co.uk/Portals/0/CODE%20OF%20ETHICS.pdf).
4 British Psychological Society. Code of Ethics and Conduct. BPS, 2006 (http://www.bps.org.uk/downloadfile.cfm?file_uuid=5084A882-1143-DFD0-7E6C-F1938A65C242&ext=pdf).
5 College of Occupational Therapists. Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (Revised). College of Occupational Therapists, 2005 (http://www.cot.org.uk/MainWebSite/Resources/Document/Code-of-Ethics.pdf).
6 Neuberger, J. Do we need a new word for patients? Let's do away with ‘patients’. BMJ 1999; 318: 1756–8.
7 Department of Health. National Service Framework for Mental Health. Department of Health, 1999.
8 Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of Physicians of London, British Medical Association. Mental Illness: Stigmatisation and Discrimination within the Medical Profession (CR91). Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2001.
9 Mind. Mind celebrates 60 years of speaking out. 27 April 2006 (http://www.mind.org.uk/news/1836_mind_celebrates_60_years_of_speaking_out).
10 Ritchie, CW, Hayes, D, Ames, DJ. Patient or client? The opinions of people attending a psychiatric clinic. Psychiatr Bull 2000; 24: 447–50.
11 McGuire-Snieckus, R, McCabe, R, Priebe, S. Patient, client or service user? A survey of patient preferences of dress and address of six mental health professions. Psychiatr Bull 2003; 27: 305–8.
12 Appleby, L. The National Service Framework for Mental Health – Five Years On. Department of Health, 2004.
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Simmons et al. supplementary material
Supplementary Material

 Unknown (459 bytes)
459 bytes
PDF
Supplementary materials

Simmons et al. supplementary material
Supplementary Material

 PDF (38 KB)
38 KB

Service user, patient, client, user or survivor: describing recipients of mental health services

  • Peter Simmons (a1), Chris J. Hawley (a1) (a2), Tim M. Gale (a1) and Thanusha Sivakumaran (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Service user, patient, client, user or survivor: describing recipients of mental health services

  • Peter Simmons (a1), Chris J. Hawley (a1) (a2), Tim M. Gale (a1) and Thanusha Sivakumaran (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

We encountered an error trying to retrieve eLetters for this article. Please try again or contact Customer Services

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *