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Addict Behav. 1999 Jul-Aug;24(4):579-82.

A comparison of three "interventions" on pretreatment dropout rates in an outpatient substance abuse clinic.

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  • 1Research Institute on Addictions, Clinical Research Center, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA.


Studies examining pretreatment dropout in outpatient substance abuse clinics have consistently demonstrated that fewer days between phone contact and scheduled intake appointment result in higher client show rates. To compare time to intake with two other interventions hypothesized to increase show rates, individuals (N = 128) seeking treatment were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Individuals in Group 1 were scheduled within 48 hours of the telephone intake. Individuals in Groups 2, 3, and 4 were scheduled 48 hours or more after the telephone intake and received either a reminder call 24 hours prior to their appointment (Group 2), an appointment card and clinic brochure in the mail (Group 3), or no intervention (Group 4). The results show that Group 1 had a higher show rate as compared to the other three groups, and receiving a reminder call or an appointment card did not improve show rates beyond that of the no-contact control group. Implications for intake procedures are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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