Objective: To examine the service utilisation of a newly opened psychiatric day centre. We wished to determine if different diagnostic groups had different perspectives of the day centre, and to see if the drop-out rate differed among clients with neurotic or psychotic disorders.
Method: Demographic and diagnostic data was gathered for all clients referred in the first year of operation of the day centre. Those who defaulted from attendance were visited at home and asked to detail reasons for non-attendance. Those who continued to attend 16 months after the centre opened completed a satisfaction survey.
Results: The drop-out rate was high for both clients with neurotic and psychotic disorders. Clients who continued to attend were very positive about the day centre. Both client groups saw the benefits of attendance in social rather than therapeutic terms.
Conclusions: Consumer opinion may have a valuable part to play in overall measure,measurement of service quality, particularly if it includes the opinion of those who no longer use that service.