Adolescents Are Less Satisfied with Inpatient Psychiatric Care than Their Parents: Does It Matter?

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Objective:Patient satisfaction is a commonly used measure of healthcare quality. Limited research exists among psychiatric inpatients, especially adolescents, who pose unique challenges. This study sought to (1) concurrently assess adolescents' and parents' satisfaction with treatment and (2) compare their perspectives' association with treatment outcomes.Methods:This exploratory study assessed discharged adolescents from a specialty psychiatric hospital. Adolescent patients and parents completed the Perceptions of Care survey (POC), a measure of patient satisfaction. Patients also completed the Youth Self-Report measure, while parents also completed the Child Behavior Checklist—both are used as measures of mental health treatment outcomes.Results:Adolescents and parents gave favorable overall ratings of care. Adolescents were more critical than their parents, and there was little agreement between them. Adolescents' ratings on the POC frequently related to outcomes, whereas parents' ratings rarely did.Conclusions:Ratings of satisfaction with adolescent healthcare can vary depending on whether patients or caregivers are assessed. The discrepancy between them contains value: adolescents' perception may be a better gauge of treatment outcomes and may affect treatment adherence. Future research should examine adolescent-specific concerns in the context of satisfaction with care and relate them to longer term treatment outcomes.

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