Examining Patients’ Perceptions of Care to Identify Opportunities for Quality Improvement in Psychiatric Inpatient Hospitals


Glorimar Ortiz

The Patient - Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

March 2014






Our objectives were to examine patients’ perceptions with psychiatric care to prioritize action for quality improvement (QI), and to explore differences in care experiences across domains of care by sample subgroups in psychiatric inpatient hospitals.


Analysis of frequency, central tendency, and variation examined the distribution of 11,778 Inpatient Consumer Surveys (ICS), from 67 psychiatric inpatient hospitals, by domain of care and Likert scale. The percentage of patients responding positively to each domain of care was evaluated. A performance–importance matrix was constructed to identify key drivers and prioritize action for QI. Chi-squared, t test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) analyses evaluated the experiences of care by sample subgroups.


Overall, patients tended to be satisfied with the care received. However, patients perceived their care differently across hospitals. Hospitals scored lower in the rights domain, mainly attributed to problems with communication between patients and hospital staff. Patients’ care experiences varied among sample subgroups; however, four sample characteristics were common to all domains of care. Patients who were Latinos, aged 65 years and older, who completed the survey at discharge, before leaving the hospital, had a higher perception of care across all domains of care.


Either an examination of the individual items on the ICS or the aggregation of them by domain of care, the ICS could be a significant tool for hospitals that continuously strive to improve the quality of care provided to psychiatric patients in a time driven by the needs and expectations of consumers.