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Predicting Attrition from Counseling in a University Counseling Center Sample Using the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2

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Author(s): John S. C. Romans | Jason K. White | R. Steven Harrist | Donald L. Boswell | Wendy D. Sims | Lindsay T. Murn

Journal: The Internet Journal of Mental Health
ISSN 1531-2941

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: counseling | psychotherapy | patient dropouts

ABSTRACT
Background Premature termination from counseling is a pervasive problem across college campuses; thus, predicting counseling dropout may encourage counseling centers to develop methods to reduce the risk of attrition from counseling. This study examined the relationship between psychological distress and premature termination from therapy in counseling center clients, as measured by the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2. Method Archival data were collected from a student counseling center at a large Midwestern university. Across the previous five year period, 70 male and 128 female client files were grouped by attrition status (intake only, premature termination, planned termination). Results There was a significant gender by termination status interaction for symptom distress. Women with higher symptom distress scores were at a higher risk for premature dropout from counseling. Conclusions These results suggest the importance of considering the potential impact of symptom distress on early dropout in university counseling centers.
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