Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 65 Issue 1 (March 1992), Pages 1-88

A comparative study of psychotherapy referrals (pages 5-8)

This retrospective study examines the effects of a change in policy in the method of offering appointments for assessment to patients referred to an out‐patient psychotherapy service. It was anticipated that the new system would reduce the frequency of non‐attendance (DNAs) at assessment interviews, increase the proportion of attenders judged suitable for psychotherapy and reduce the proportion of early dropouts amongst those commencing therapy.

Results confirmed a reduction in DNAs, but suitability for therapy was not enhanced, nor did the rate of early dropouts diminish. With the new system, proportionately fewer referrals were assessed and fewer commenced therapy, suggesting that it has created a barrier to use of the service.

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