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During the autumn of 2005 The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services conducted a survey among user of inpatient psychiatric clinics for adults across Norway. A total of 2676 users responded to different questions relating to their experiences with these clinics.
The survey response rate was 35 which means that results could not be presented for each participating clinic. Hence the results presented in this report are aggregated to a national and regional level. The low response rate also suggests that the results should be interpreted with care.
A main result is that the users feel that there is room for improvement of inpatient psychiatric care in Norway. This is reflected by the result on the survey’s main dimension which summarizes important areas of the clinic encounter that is relevant for most of the users, including information, relation to therapist and treatment. Mean score at the national level was 51 on a 0-100 scale where 100 represents the best possible experiences.
Compared to the experiences of other patient groups within Norway this is a relatively low score. However, in a national survey where general practitioners evaluated community mental health centres across Norway similar results were obtained.
For aspects included in the main dimension, the users reported their most positive experiences on the questions relating to whether they got to tell the therapist all that was important about their condition and whether the therapist was able to understand them. The most negative experiences were related to the patients’ influence on type of treatment and preparations for discharge.
On certain other aspects there were a substantial amount of dissatisfied users. More than 25% felt they had little or no benefits from the treatments, that they were patronized or talked down to or that the date of discharge was untimely. 34% felt that the range of activities offered at the clinics was poor or very poor and 55% did not receive important information about their patient rights.
The results on the main dimension were about 50 for all health regions and none were significantly different from the national mean. For hospitals and trusts within each region the differences were larger with some being significantly different from the national mean. The single best result on the main dimension was 65 and the poorest result was 43.
Background variables and individual characteristics may influence the users’ responses. In the present survey married respondents had better experiences than single- or non-married partners. Users that felt they were compulsively admitted to the clinic had poorer experiences than those who were admitted by will. We also found differences in experiences relating to diagnosis, for instance that users with problems related to drug abuse reported less positive experiences.