Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1990;16(1-2):67-76.

"Hello, may we help you?" A study of attrition prevention at the time of the first phone contact with substance-abusing clients.

Author information

Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon 97219.


The problem of early attrition from treatment is pervasive throughout community mental health and is particularly high for substance-abusing clients. In spite of the severity of this problem and the potential for successful interventions, there have not been many studies that attempt to reduce the dropout rate of drug abusers. The purpose of this research was to test the effectiveness of attrition prevention procedures at the time of the client's first phone contact with the clinic. Callers were either given an appointment or told to come to the clinic the same day. A second variable was the presence or absence of an experimenter-initiated dialogue designed to help subjects predict possible obstacles to attendance and to generate potential solutions to those barriers. Subjects in the same day conditions showed at a higher rate than those given appointments, but the addition of the dialogue had no effect on client behavior. The results are discussed in terms of how mental health professionals can find cost effective interventions that prevent drug abuse treatment dropout.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center