This study assessed the perceived quality of care by consumers with severe mental disorders. A questionnaire investigating service quality was developed by a consumer focus group and filled by 204 consumers. In five areas the negative evaluations exceeded or closely approximated the positive ones: choice of professionals, waiting times, information about illness and medications. All five do not refer to the outcomes of care, but to the concept of responsiveness. The results confirmed that people with severe mental disorders can give value judgments on various aspects of care. However, even in a service strongly oriented towards community care, the consumers' needs in sensitive areas concerning choices, respect and autonomy are not met. The application of the concept of responsiveness to quality improvement may help services to meet consumers' expectations.
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