Patients' Perceptions of Care and Safety Within Psychiatric Settings

Anouk L. Grubaugh, B. Christopher Frueh, Heidi M. Zinzow, Karen J. Cusack, Chris Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


There is growing concern over institutional measures of control (e.g., seclusion, restraint) and other potentially harmful or traumatic experiences within psychiatric hospitals. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between demographic variables, potentially harmful and/or traumatic psychiatric experiences, and patients' perceptions of care and safety in psychiatric settings among 142 public-sector psychiatric patients. Data revealed 45.1% of patients reported they had been to a psychiatric facility they would never want to return to, and the majority of patients did not communicate with staff after a distressing event occurred. There were no significant differences in perceptions of care and safety by race, gender, or age. However, patients who reported potentially harmful or traumatic psychiatric events were significantly more likely to report that they had been to a psychiatric facility they would not want to return to. Encouragingly, most patients (84.5%) reported that psychiatric facilities have become safer in recent years. These data suggest the need to better understand how adverse psychiatric events influence how patients view their care and their subsequent engagement in that care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • PTSD
  • community mental health
  • restraint
  • seclusion
  • severe mental illness
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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