Effectiveness of psychotherapy with adults in community-based mental health clinics

James Michael Hickey (1996)

The effectiveness of psychotherapy with adults in community-based mental health clinics was investigated by comparing 5 or more session psychotherapy completers (n = 40) with a quasi-control group (n = 44) who dropped out of treatment after 1 or 2 visits. Outcome measures included the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis & Spencer, 1982), the Client Problem Rating, and Therapist Problem Rating scales (derived from Mintz & Kiesler, 1982). Outcome measures were administered at intake and at 10 weeks and 5 months post-intake. Analyses of Covariance indicated that clients who completed a course of psychotherapy obtained a greater degree of symptomatic relief than those who dropped out, as measured by the BSI and Therapist Problem Ratings. There were no significant differences between the groups on the Client Problem Ratings. A separate analysis using the clinical significance methodology described by Jacobson and Truax (1991) found completers more improved than dropouts as measured by the Client and Therapist Problem Ratings. No differences were found between the groups on the BSI. The results of a similar, but smaller, companion study of dropouts and completers found completers more improved on two out of three outcome measures.