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Evaluation of factors associated with psychiatric patient dropout at a university outpatient clinic in Japan

Authors Minamisawa A, Narumoto J, Yokota I, Fukui K

Received 22 April 2016

Accepted for publication 25 July 2016

Published 20 September 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1903—1911

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S111178

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Atsumi Minamisawa,1 Jin Narumoto,1 Isao Yokota,2 Kenji Fukui1

1Department of Psychiatry, 2Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan

Background: Patient dropout from treatment can lead to a deterioration in clinical condition, thereby increasing the need for more intensive therapy that incurs substantial social and economic losses. The aim of this study was to identify factors related to psychiatric patient dropout at a university outpatient clinic in Japan.
Methods: We retrospectively examined the medical charts of new psychiatric patients who were diagnosed with either a mood disorder (International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, code: F3) or an anxiety disorder (F4) in the outpatient clinic at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Hospital in Kyoto, Japan, between April 2010 and March 2013. The baseline characteristics of the patients (age, sex, Global Assessment of Functioning score, Clinical Global Impression–Severity of Illness score, education, occupation, marital status, duration of treatment, and prior treatment history), treating psychiatrist experience in years, and sex concordance between the patients and their treating psychiatrists were analyzed using Cox regression models.
Results: From among 1,626 eligible new patients during the study period, 532 patients were enrolled in the study (F3: n=176; F4: n=356). The dropout rate was 35.7%, which was similar to that of previous studies. Higher educational level, being married, and lower Global Assessment of Functioning scores were associated with a lower dropout rate. Although psychiatrist experience was not significantly associated with patient dropout in the multivariate analysis, patients treated by less experienced psychiatrists had a higher hazard ratio for dropout (1.31; 95% confidence interval: 0.94–1.85).
Conclusion: In order to reduce the dropout rate, special focus should be placed on patients with the factors identified in this study, and young psychiatrists should undergo further education to foster adherence.

Keywords: patient dropout, psychiatry, outpatient care, mood disorders, anxiety disorders

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