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Br J Psychiatry. 1998 Nov;173:409-15.

User perspective on needs and satisfaction with mental health services. PRiSM Psychosis Study. 8.

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  • 1Section of Community Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, London.



Measurement of the impact of different types of service provision on the views of service users is important in planning mental health services.


Needs (met and unmet) and satisfaction with services, were assessed. People with psychosis (n = 131) were interviewed before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) the introduction of two community mental health services in south London. One was intensive, with two specialist teams, the other standard. Outcomes were compared at Time 2, controlling for the Time 1 values.


Overall, 70% of needs were met and mean satisfaction was between 'mixed' and 'mainly satisfied'. There was evidence for higher met needs in the intensive sector, but no evidence for lower unmet needs in the intensive sector or for differences in satisfaction. The additional needs met by the intensive service were associated with aspects of basic living situation. Satisfaction was negatively correlated with both unmet and met needs.


Both services were reasonably successful, with little difference from the user perspective. The intensive service provided benefits in terms of met needs, but this has to be balanced against a possible increase in unmet needs.

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