Predicting Psychotherapy Client Dropout from In-Treatment Client-Reported Outcome
MetadataShow full item record
Treatment dropout is a pervasive phenomenon that can preclude clients from benefiting fully from psychotherapy. Research efforts to understand the phenomenon in the preceding decades yielded few consistent results. The investigation of intrinsic client and therapist factors gave way to the more recent exploration of dynamic therapeutic process factors potentially influencing the dropout process. The availability of periodic treatment outcome measurement instruments has helped client-focused research explore the effects of treatment response as a process factor on aspects of psychotherapy. As an added benefit, real-time treatment response measures, such as the Outcome Questionnaire, offer the possibility of timely adjustment in clinical intervention to meet evolving client needs and enhance therapeutic treatment. This present study primarily sought to explore the relationship between psychotherapy dropout and treatment response patterns in terms of clients' psychosocial well-being as measured by the Outcome Questionnaire. The results suggest that treatment response patterns alone may not effectively predict dropout probabilities. Even so, the measure's sub-component assessing the client's subjective experience of symptom distress is shown to be more accurate in predicting dropout than the composite Outcome Questionnaire measure or any other component scale. This finding conceivably highlights the relative importance of symptom distress in the dropout process for the sampled clients. Those clients reporting higher levels of symptom distress appeared to be associated with greater probabilities of dropout termination. Additionally, prior research has recognized a likely mediated relationship between higher client educational attainment and lower dropout probabilities - a trend also observed in this study's sampled population. As one of its expressed intents, this study examined educational attainment's moderating effect on the relationship between aspects of client treatment response and dropout probabilities. While showing educational attainment to be a relevant factor in assessing dropout risks, the analysis results indicate that this client characteristic variable's interactional effect on the evaluated treatment response pattern feature is weak and statistically nonsignificant. The present study contributes to the research literature through providing some clarification to the importance of treatment response in the prediction of psychotherapy client dropout.
Yu, Jason Juijen (2011). Predicting Psychotherapy Client Dropout from In-Treatment Client-Reported Outcome. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from