Evaluation of the Reasons Underlying Drop-Out and Identification of Predictive Factors in Psychiatric Patients

Pedro Teixeira, Isabel Saavedra, Tiago Rodrigues, M Miguel Brenha, Susana Moreira, Isabel Catarino, Patrícia Mendes

Abstract


Introduction/Objectives: The evaluation of psychiatric interventions results should be multidimensional, including clinical and socialvariables, such as individual experience of the mentally ill. The patient satisfaction with care has been recognized as an importantvariable, despite not being the main objective of the service or of the psychiatrist. However, if the user’s perspective is not included,there´s a risk of bias by the perception of the heath care providers. In this study, our aim was to understand if the abandonment of treatment(drop-out) represents an improvement or worsening of subjective well-being of patients and / or dissatisfaction with the servicesreceived, as well as to find predictors of drop-out.Material and Methods: Identification of drop-outs in a 2-year cohort of patients who had initial psychiatric consultations in the PsychiatricUnit at Centro Hospitalar do Médio Ave – Unidade de Famalicão (Local Mental Health Service).Results: We identified 512 patients who had a first psychiatric consultation, 57 of which unilaterally abandoned the treatment for atleast six months, without making any contacts in order to reschedule the appointment during this period. Of these only 38 completedthe assessment (telephone response to a semi-structured questionnaire). Three predictive factors for the drop-out were found: age,education and diagnosis.Conclusions: The reasons for treatment abandonment focused mainly in forgetfulness and dissatisfaction, the last one involvingdoctor-patient relationship issues. These results should be a starting point for assessing and improving care.


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