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Article   |    
Factors Associated With Premature Termination From Outpatient Treatment
Chester Swett, Jr.; Jerry Noones
Psychiatric Services 1989; doi:
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Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, Massachusetts 02178

Mental Retardation Services at Norfolk (Mass.) Human Services

1989 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

A variety of demographic and clinical data collected on 142 new patients treated in an adult psychiatric outpatient clinic were analyzed to determine factors that discriminated between patients who terminated treatment prematurely during the first eight months of therapy and those who did not. High levels of paranoid ideation, lack of health insurance, and living less than 15 miles from the clinic were significantly associated with premature termination. Those factors were combined with three others—substance abuse, divorced marital status, and absence of fee reduction—in a probit regression model that correctly predicted the incidence of premature termination in 75 percent of the patients. The results suggest that patients who may be at risk for premature termination of outpatient therapy can be identified early in the course of their treatment.

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