Background: No existing instrument measures all or even most of the issues considered important by users of mental health services. <br/>Aims: To develop and test a self-assessment instrument to enable users of mental health services to rate their experience across the range of domains that they consider to be important. <br/>Method: Relevant domains were identified and a new instrument was drafted and field tested to examine its psychometric properties. <br/>Results: The 17-item, self-rated Carers' and Users' Expectations of Services — User version (CUES—U) appears acceptable to most service users. Its items have reasonable test—retest reliability and a ‘total CUES—U score’ correlates significantly with a total score of the Health of the Nations Outcome Scales (Spearman's =0.42; P < 0.01). <br/>Conclusions: The development and testing of CUES—U suggest that it might be feasible to apply a self-rated measure of the expectations and experience of users of mental health services
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