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Eval Program Plann. 2016 Jun;56:23-30. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2016.03.002. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Exploration of the reasons for dropping out of psychotherapy: A qualitative study.

Author information

1
Sleep Disorders Research Center, Farabi Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address: hakhazaie@gmail.com.
2
Sleep Disorders Research Center, Farabi Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address: rezaie.phd.ot@gmail.com.
3
Psychiatry Department, Farabi Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran. Electronic address: Ni.shahdipour@gmail.com.
4
Department of Psychology, Eastern Michigan University (EMU), USA. Electronic address: pweaver2@emich.edu.

Abstract

Elucidating the reasons for dropping out of psychotherapy can lead to the development of interventions aimed at reducing patient drop out. The present study aimed to explore patients' reasons for dropping out of psychotherapy in Kermanshah, Iran. The present qualitative study was performed using conventional content analysis. The current sample included 15 participants consisting of 7 patients who dropped out of psychotherapy and 8 psychotherapists who have previously experienced patient dropout. A semi-structured interview was used for data collection. All interviews were audio recorded and subsequently transcribed. Content analysis using constant comparisons was performed for transcribed interviews. Four main categories emerged as reasons for dropping out of psychotherapy: dissatisfaction with the quality of psychotherapy, financial problems in psychotherapy, unprepared socio-cultural context of psychotherapy, and psychotherapy as a non-user friendly treatment. Additionally, specific subcategories within each main category were documented. The results revealed distinct reasons for psychotherapy drop out in the current Iranian-based sample. These identified reasons should be considered and addressed at the onset of treatment as well as in the development of formal interventions aimed at reducing dropout. Further research investigating the antecedents leading to patient drop out is recommended.

KEYWORDS:

Drop out; Iran; Psychotherapy; Qualitative study

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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