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Longitudinal Assessment of Parental Satisfaction with Children’s Psychiatric Hospitalization

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Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript



To examine trends over time in parents’ satisfaction with their children’s prior psychiatric hospitalization and whether such trends are related to postdischarge outcomes.

Study Design/Data Collection

Parents of 107 child inpatients completed a satisfaction survey at discharge. Satisfaction with the same inpatient stay was re-assessed 3, 6, and 12 months after discharge. Parents also provided ratings of behavioral symptoms at admission, discharge, and at postdischarge follow-ups.

Principal Findings

Random regression analyses indicated significant decline in satisfaction from discharge to follow-up. The proportion of parents reporting that they were not satisfied doubled between discharge and 3-month follow-up. Parents whose satisfaction appraisals shifted from satisfied at discharge to not satisfied at follow-up also provided mean ratings of their child’s disruptive behavioral problems at follow-up that were higher than those of parents who reported satisfaction with inpatient care at both times.


Findings suggest that appraisals of inpatient care are subject to change, and may become more negative when clinical improvement associated with hospitalization dissipates in the months following discharge.

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Supported by grants to the author from the National Institutes of Health (R03MH058456 and K23MH064975).

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Correspondence to Joseph C. Blader.

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Blader, J.C. Longitudinal Assessment of Parental Satisfaction with Children’s Psychiatric Hospitalization. Adm Policy Ment Health 34, 108–115 (2007).

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