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Desire for information of people with severe mental illness



To assess (1) the desire of people with severe mental illness for information on their treatment and (2) whether the desire for information is associated with socio-demographic variables, diagnosis, illness duration, therapeutic relationship, needs and symptom severity.


588 outpatients with severe mental illness were recruited in six European countries (Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom) during the “Clinical decision making and outcome in routine care of people with severe mental illness (CEDAR)” study (ISRCTN75841675). Desire for information was assessed by the Information subscale of the Clinical Decision Making Style Scale. Study participants with high desire for information were compared with those with moderate or low desire for information.


80 % of study participants (n = 462) wanted to receive information on all aspects of their treatment (management, prognosis, alternative options for care). Participants with a high desire for information had less severe symptoms (OR = 0.988, CI = 0.977–1.000) and a better self-rated therapeutic alliance (OR = 1.304, CI = 1.130–1.508) with their clinician.


Most, but not all, people with severe mental illness have a high desire for information. Desire for information is associated with variables, such as therapeutic relationship and symptom severity, which are amenable to change during treatment.

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The CEDAR study is funded by a grant from the European Union’ Seventh Framework Programme (Programme Acronym: FP7-HEALTH; Subprogramme area: Improving clinical decision making; Project Reference: 223290).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Author information

Correspondence to Domenico Giacco.

Appendix: the CEDAR study group

Appendix: the CEDAR study group

The study “Clinical decision making and outcome in routine care for people with severe mental illness” (CEDAR) is a multicentre collaboration between the Department of Psychiatry II at Ulm University, Germany (Bernd Puschner); the Section of Recovery at Institute of Psychiatry, London, U.K. (Mike Slade); the Department of Psychiatry at Second University of Naples, Italy (Mario Maj); the Department of Psychiatry at Debrecen University, Hungary (Anikó Égerházi); the Unit for Psychiatric Research at Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital, Denmark (Povl Munk-Jørgensen); and the Department of General and Social Psychiatry at University of Zurich, Switzerland (Wulf Rössler).

The CEDAR study group includes the following members: Bernd Puschner (chief investigator), Thomas Becker, Katrin Arnold, Esra Ay, Jana Konrad, Sabine Loos, Petra Neumann, Nadja Zentner (Ulm); Mike Slade, Elly Clarke, Harriet Jordan (London); Mario Maj, Andrea Fiorillo, Valeria Del Vecchio, Corrado De Rosa, Domenico Giacco, Mario Luciano, Gaia Sampogna, Pasquale Cozzolino, Heide Gret Del Vecchio, Antonio Salzano (Naples); Anikó Égerházi, Tibor Ivánka, Marietta Nagy, Roland Berecz, Teodóra Glaub, Ágnes Süveges, Attila Kovacs, Erzsebet Magyar (Debrecen); Povl Munk-Jørgensen, Malene Frøkjaer Krogsgaard Bording, Helle Østermark Sørensen, Jens-Ivar Larsen (Aalborg); Wolfram Kawohl, Arlette Bär, Wulf Rössler, Susanne Krömer, Jochen Mutschler, Caitriona Obermann (Zurich).

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Giacco, D., Luciano, M., Del Vecchio, V. et al. Desire for information of people with severe mental illness. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 49, 1883–1891 (2014).

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  • Severe mental illness
  • Desire for information
  • Clinical decision making
  • Therapeutic alliance