Measuring the satisfaction of young people and their family and friends with youth mental health (headspace) services

Presentation First Author: 
Debra Rickwood

Introduction: Principles of youth-friendliness and inclusion of the young person’s family and friends are central to the delivery of services within headspace, Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation. To assist in monitoring adherence to these principles, standard collection of youth satisfaction data has occurred across headspace services since 2013. In 2015, a similar system of collection of family and friends’ satisfaction data is being developed.

Objectives: Through collection and analysis of satisfaction data, headspace aims to monitor the level of service satisfaction among young people and their family and friends to identify components of service delivery requiring modification in individual centres and across headspace nationally.

Methods: With no appropriate published measures of satisfaction for young people and their family and friends with community-based mental health services, headspace developed their own through a review of existing measures, item selection and generation with feedback from youth and family and friends reference groups.

In 2013, the youth satisfaction measure was piloted with 215 headspace clients, and its psychometric properties tested. This measure was then implemented across all headspace centres, and young people offered the survey before sessions 2, 5, 10 and 15 on an iPad in the waiting area. Satisfaction data was collated within the headspace minimum dataset and, after one year, the data were analysed. Piloting and implementation of family and friends satisfaction measures are following a similar process.

Results: Of 21 354 young people attending headspace centres, almost 60% completed one or more satisfaction measures. Satisfaction was high and increased for those who completed multiple measures. Comparison of completers and non-completers identified certain demographic variables, such as being male, and clinical variables, such as attending for substance abuse problems, predicted non-completion. Lower satisfaction was predicted by younger age, a higher level of distress and dissatisfaction with waiting time. Factor analysis identified a four-factor structure and internal consistency was good.

Conclusion: Youth satisfaction with headspace services is high and increases with ongoing engagement. However, specific client groups do not complete the satisfaction measure and alternative means must be developed to gain their input. Some specific client groups also have a lower level of satisfaction, and further investigation is required to identify why this is the case to ensure improved service provision to these groups. Successful implementation of the youth satisfaction measure now provides headspace with a tested process for development and implementation of a family and friends’ satisfaction measure.

Conference Name: 
Date of Presentation: 
9th Oct 2015
Type of presentation: 
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