Stability of psychiatric patients' perceptions of their admission experience

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The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the stability (i.e., consistency of patients’ responses over time) of newly developed scales to measure the admission experience of psychiatric hospitalization. Eighty-four psychiatric patients involuntarily committed to a crisis stabilization unit participated. All participants were admitted under an emergency petition or ex parte order for a psychiatric evaluation. Patients were interviewed soon after admission (M 5 3.33 days, SD 5 1.86 days). The test–retest interval was 24–48 hours with most (83.3%) re-evaluated at 24 hours. Overall, the measures showed acceptable levels of stability (r ’s range from .62 to .72). Factors associated with reliable responses were lower overall psychiatric symptom severity, less severe psychotic symptoms, and mentioning the same person as an influence of perceptions about the admission experience at each assessment point. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Clin Psychol 53: 833–839, 1997