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The paper reports the findings of a medical audit exercise which monitored 192 consecutive psychiatric admissions. Approximately two-thirds of patients, consultants and referrers provided information on admission objectives and the degree to which they were attained. One-third of the patients furnished information on social problems and satisfaction with treatment. Sanctuary was rated as an important admission objective by patients but neglected by consultants and referrers. Patient satisfaction with treatment was significantly correlated with attainment of patient as well as consultant objectives, and negatively correlated with social problems. Agreement between consultant and patient on admission objectives was inversely related to both duration of contact with psychiatric services and number of previous admissions suggesting that congruence with consultants may be lost over time. The limitations imposed by variable response rates are acknowledged. It is concluded that serious note should be taken of psychiatric patients' own treatment objectives.