Alcohol Dependence: Analysis of Factors Associated with Retention of Patients in Outpatient Treatment
Márcia Fonsi Elbreder, Rebeca de Souza e Silva, Sandra Cristina Pillon and Ronaldo Laranjeira
Retention of patients in a wide variety of therapeutic settings and modalities for treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence is one of the greatest challenges faced by practitioners working in this area, since dropout rates as high as 52–75% are seen by the fourth session (Baekeland and Lundwall, 1975).
The time spent in treatment is one of the strongest factors associated with positive outcomes in the post-treatment period. Thus, patients who have early exit, failing to complete the steps in the proposed treatment, tend to have an increased risk of readmission (Moos et al., 1995).
Although treatment retention is not an outcome measurement per se, the capacity to retain patients in active participation is a sensible measurement related to quality and efficacy of the health care (McLellan et al., 2007), thus becoming one of the goals of treatment programmes.