Factors influencing treatment outcome and patient satisfaction in a short-term psychiatric ward

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Summary

Factors influencing treatment outcome and patient satisfaction in a short-term psychiatric treatment programme were analysed using a path analysis method. The programme used two models of treatment planning, one with and one without active participation of the patient in formulating a written treatment contract. A causal structural model, which explained 23% of the variance in the model, was used in the final analysis. The results indicated a positive relationship between a cooperation contract procedure and the level of expectations of improvement as well as high ratings of the importance of the patients own effort in treatment. The level of expectations of improvement were related to the symptom level at discharge and global improvement during treatment, indicating a better treatment outcome for the patients of the cooperation contract group, while the importance of own effort was not related to treatment outcome. Symptoms at discharge were mainly determined by symptoms at admission and global improvement, and also by expectations of improvement, initial psychic status and social background. The explained variance was 63%. Satisfaction with treatment was mainly determined by global improvement, symptoms at discharge and expectations of improvement. The explained variance was 60%. It is concluded that attention to patient expectations of improvement viewed as an important intermediate variable, is related to a an improvement in treatment outcome.