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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Complaint-management in psychiatry – a nationwide survey in Germany

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  • 1,
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  • 2 and
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BMC Psychiatry20077 (Suppl 1) :S131

  • Published:


  • Public Health
  • Psychiatric Hospital
  • Psychiatric Service
  • Nationwide Survey
  • Volunteer Service


To describe and characterize the work of independent complaint offices for users of psychiatric services and of ombudsmen in psychiatric hospitals.


Nationwide survey addressed to all independent complaint offices and to all psychiatric hospitals in Germany.


The authors were able to identify N = 39 independent complaint offices. About 50% of the hospitals surveyed (N = 423) reported having a patient's advocate ("Patientenfürsprecher"). Both types of intercession agency rely mainly on volunteer service. While complaint offices are regularly staffed by psychiatry-experienced, their relatives and professionals, patient's advocates are often retired employees of the respective hospitals. Both types of such agencies deal with a variety of complaints.


Implications of the results will be discussed with regard to differences and similarities of the different institutions.

Authors’ Affiliations

Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der TU München, Möhlstr. 26, 81675 München, Germany
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziale Psychiatrie, Zeltinger Str. 9, 50969 Köln, Germany


© Hamann et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.