Psychiatric hospitals get good grades from patients

Fifty-eight percent of patients hospitalized against their will were much less satisfied with their treatment, compared to 72% who went voluntarily.

Long empty hospital corridor (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Long empty hospital corridor (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Most patients at psychiatric hospitals give good grades to their treatment, according to the first survey of the institutions carried out by the Health Ministry.
On a scale of 1-to-10, a total of 68% of the patients surveyed graded their satisfaction between eight and 10, while 16% said they were “very dissatisfied” and rated their stays between one and five. They were most satisfied with the nurses’ and doctors’ care (86%) and least satisfied with preparation for discharge and the receipt of explanations and information. Fully 93% of those queried said that the medical staff treated them with respect, and 92% said they felt the staff believed in their ability to be rehabilitated.
But 42% said they didn’t fully understand their treatment, and 15% insisted that they didn’t understand their treatment program at all.
Sixty percent said there wasn’t enough therapeutic activity in the afternoons and on weekends.
The survey followed a similar one released in February on satisfaction from treatment in the general hospitals. Thus Israel joins numerous countries that survey patients for their attitudes on medical care they received.
The ministry said that the aim of the survey, taken during the first half of this year, is to create an “organizational culture” of ongoing measuring and reporting attitudes of the public, and identifying services that need improvement, as well as giving assessment tools to decision makers.
The latest survey included 835 patients over the age of 18 who spent more than two weeks in mental health centers and were soon to be discharged.
Patients at 10 mental health centers, in government and Clalit Health Services institutions (but not including general hospitals with psychiatric departments) were interviewed face-to-face between January and May. The patients had been treated in both open and closed wards and were queried on the way they were treated, information provided, continuity of care and empowerment.
Seventy-six percent of those asked to participate answered the 40-question forms. More than half of the patients had been hospitalized at least three times in the past, and 70% had consented to being institutionalized.
As for physical conditions during hospitalization, 78 percent said they were satisfied. Eighty percent said their rooms were comfortable, clean and quiet at night, but 40% were dissatisfied with the food served to them.
Those that were hospitalized against their will were much less satisfied with their treatment (58%) compared to those who went voluntarily (72%).
The survey results were presented to the ministry’s senior management and directors of the psychiatric hospitals so they can improve things.
At the end of this year, the ministry will publish a report summarizing attitudes through 2015.