Patients' perception of user involvement in psychiatric outpatient treatment: Associations with patient characteristics and satisfaction
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background The patient's right to be involved in treatment decisions is anchored in guidelines and legislation in many countries. Previous research suggests challenges in the implementation of user involvement across different areas of health care, including mental health. However, little is known about psychiatric outpatients’ experiences of being involved in their treatment. Objective To investigate how psychiatric outpatients after treatment rate the degree to which they were included in the treatment and explore the associations between perceived user involvement, demographic characteristics of the sample and patient satisfaction. Design Cross‐sectional. Setting and participants The sample consisted of 188 psychiatric outpatients (67% female, mean age 42.2 years) who were discharged in the two years prior to data collection. Main variables studied Perceived user involvement in psychiatric outpatient treatment and patient satisfaction as measured by the Psychiatric Out‐Patient Experiences Questionnaire. Results About half of the participants rated the overall degree of involvement in their treatment as high or very high. The lowest percentage of participants reporting high or very high involvement was found for sufficient information to contribute to treatment decisions (36%). Female gender, higher education and, to a small degree, younger age were associated with more involvement. Perceived user involvement was strongly associated with treatment satisfaction. Discussion and conclusion The findings suggest that user involvement in psychiatric outpatient treatment can be improved. Patient information that facilitates user involvement should be given more attention. Patient or Public Contribution The hospital's user panel was involved in the development of items assessing user involvement.