Mining treatment termination data in an adolescent mental health service: A quantitative study

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Abstract

This study utilizes available clinical information from client records to explore patterns of termination from mental health treatment among adolescents at an urban outpatient mental health center. The analysis focuses on how and why adolescents terminate from treatment and identifies variables associated with "acknowledged" and "unacknowledged" terminations. Findings indicate that termination was acknowledged infrequently, often a brief process that occurred almost as frequently by telephone as in the context of treatment. Contrary to "practice wisdom" concerning treatment termination, adolescents who "dropped out" without a "clinical process" reported considerably more engagement in treatment than those who acknowledged the termination of treatment. Recommendations for a more "open door" policy and a more flexible practice with adolescents are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-90
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Work in Health Care
Volume33
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Inner-city adolescents
  • Termination from mental health treatment
  • Treatment dropout

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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