Online Reviews of Mental Health Treatment Facilities


Contributed to by PISC Executive Board member Zachary F. Meisel, MD, MPH, MA, the objective of this study was to investigate the key themes present in online reviews of mental health treatment facilities and evaluate the relationship between such themes, facility characteristics, and review ratings. After linking US National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS) facilities to their corresponding Yelp pages, the study found that 1,383 out of the 10,191 mental health treatment facilities had relevant Yelp pages. Themes positively correlated with review ratings included caring staff and nonpharmacologic treatment, while topics with negative correlations included rude staff and safety and abuse. The study also found that of 126 N-MHSS survey items, 11 were positively correlated with review rating (such as “outpatient mental health facility”) and 33 were negatively correlated (such as accepting Medicare). In conclusion, the authors assert that themes present in mental health facility Yelp reviews encompass information not collected through the N-MHSS, and can help guide improvement in such facilities.


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