Patient and staff satisfaction with the quality of in-patient psychiatric care in a Nigerian general hospital
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Background Patient satisfaction has been proposed as a simple measure of the quality of care. The present study aimed to assess how satisfied the patients and staff in an acute admission psychiatric unit were with experiences in the ward, including the physical environment, freedom, comfort, attitudes of staff towards patients, access to staff, and duration of hospitalization. Method A descriptive study of all patients admitted for functional psychiatric disorders in a 5-month period was conducted. Patients and staff completed similar 16-item self-rated Likert-type questionnaires. Satisfaction was graded as follows: dissatisfaction < 50 % positive appreciation), bare satisfaction (50–65 %), moderate (66–74 %), and highest satisfaction (> or = 75 %). Results The 118 patients were dissatisfied with items that indicated curtailment of their freedom, while the 35 staff were dissatisfied with the physical facilities for care. Highest satisfaction for patients and staff were for items on staff-patient relationship. Barely satisfactory items for patients included the time spent with doctors. Patients had a higher positive appraisal of the adequacy of physical facilities than staff, while staff had a more positive appraisal of their relationship with patients. There were no significant differences in satisfaction among diagnostic groups. Conclusion The logical and discriminating manner in which patients assessed satisfaction supports the impression that they can be relied upon to make objective appraisal of the process of care, and that patient satisfaction is a valid index of the quality of care.
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