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Pretreatment and during treatment risk factors for dropout among patients with substance use disorders.

McKellar J, Kelly J, Harris A, Moos R. Pretreatment and during treatment risk factors for dropout among patients with substance use disorders. Addictive Behaviors. 2006 Mar 1; 31(3):450-60.

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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to use pretreatment and treatment factors to predict dropout from residential substance use disorder program and to examine how the treatment environment modifies the risk for dropout. METHOD: This study assessed 3649 male patients at entry to residential substance use disorder treatment and obtained information about their perceptions of the treatment environment. RESULTS: Baseline factors that predicted dropout included younger age, greater cognitive dysfunction, more drug use, and lower severity of alcohol dependence. Patients in treatment environments appraised as low in support or high in control also were more likely to drop out. Further, patients at high risk of dropout were especially likely to dropout when treated in a highly controlling treatment environment. CONCLUSION: Better screening of risk factors for dropout and efforts to create a less controlling treatment environment may result in increased retention in substance use disorder treatment.

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