Treatment duration and dropout differences among Haitians, African Americans, and Euro-Americans

Jennifer Joy Hylton (2001)

Classification by race without consideration for ethnic difference within racial groups is counterproductive in both research and practice. In the United States, Afro-Caribbeans and other people of African descent are generally classified as African Americans regardless of national origin. Studies have consistently shown that racial/ethnic minorities have shorter length of treatment and higher dropout rates than others do. It has also been determined that longer treatment is related to better outcome. Research has failed to identify within racial group differences with regard to length of treatment and dropout. Within group differences (especially attitude toward mental health) may affect length of treatment. Data analyzed from 300 closed cases from three ethnic groups (Haitians, African Americans, and Euro-Americans) showed no difference in dropout but that Euro-Americans had a higher likelihood of concluding treatment compared to the other groups. Haitians had twice as many medication visits as African Americans and four times as many as Euro-Americans. A stepwise regression analysis indicated that ethnicity match between client and clinician was the best predictor of treatment duration for only African Americans.