Factors Affecting the Completion of Trauma-Focused Treatments: What Can Make a Difference?

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Abstract

This study expands our understanding of treatment attrition by investigating factors predicting treatment dropout in a large national data set of clinic-referred children and parents seeking trauma-specific psychotherapy services. Using de-identifed data (N = 2,579) generated by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set collected between spring 2004 and fall 2010, the study uses sequential logistic regression analyses to assess prediction of the probability of a given subject having prematurely dropped out of treatment. The findings of this study suggest that African American race, placement in state custody, and a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and major depressive disorder predict treatment attrition. Based on the findings of this study, dropout management recommendations are made, as are implications for further research and ongoing practice.

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