A sample of patients allocated to receive either community psychiatric nursing or out-patient psychiatrist follow-up was interviewed at 6-month intervals for a total period of 18 months. Two dimensions of patient satisfaction are discussed: a cross-sectional analysis of the quality of the perceived therapeutic relationship and an analysis over time of attitudes to aspects of the mental health care received. The satisfaction expressed with elements of the therapeutic relationship revealed that patients find nurses more approachable and more sympathetic. The satisfaction expressed by patients receiving the nursing mode of follow-up was superior to that expressed by out-patient psychiatrist patients. Particularly positive were responses made by nursing patients to domiciliary visiting. The greater levels of satisfaction with nursing follow-up increased over time.