Patient satisfaction with the care provided in a psychiatric hospital in Cape Town
Marepula, Lindiwe Oscarine
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Background: Patient satisfaction is a well-researched area in general medicine worldwide, yet a full exploration of patient satisfaction amongst psychiatric patients appears to be lacking in South Africa. Patient satisfaction has become important because of the awareness of the patient’s human rights. There is an increasing practice of applying a consumer viewpoint to health care, while safeguarding patients’ rights and taking their views into account. This has been brought about by the inception of the Mental Health Care Act no. 17 of 2002. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe psychiatric inpatients’ satisfaction with the care provided in a psychiatric hospital in Cape Town. Objectives : (1) To describe the psychiatric inpatients’ satisfaction with the care provided in a psychiatric teaching hospital in terms of their views on the: care provided by nurses (interpersonal/nurse-patient- interaction and technical skills); care provided by doctors (interpersonal/doctor-patient interaction and technical skills; and the nature of the environment of care, and (2) to describe the psychiatric inpatients’ overall satisfaction with the care received in a psychiatric teaching hospital in terms of the: quality of care received from nurses and doctors; nature of the environment of care; and the likelihood of future utilization of the hospital services. Method/Design: The study made use of the quantitative descriptive design using the Primary Provider Theory of patient satisfaction and the Batho Pele Principles served as the conceptual framework. Data were collected from discharged patients using a self-administered questionnaire which was mailed to individual participants. A five and a four point Likert scales were used for different sections in the questionnaire. The study made use of 120 participants between the ages of 18 and 60. Findings: Generally respondents were satisfied with the care provided in this psychiatric hospital. Greater satisfaction was noted on aspects of staff-patient interactions. Low satisfaction scores were observed on nurses’ technical aspects of care. The Batho Pele principles of information, openness and transparency,consultation, access and redress seem not to have been adhered to. Conclusions: General inpatient satisfaction in psychiatric hospital care was good. However, more innovative methods for improvement in the areas of dissatisfaction need to be developed. Special attention should be given to the implementation of the Batho Pele Principles and the protection of the patients’ rights.