Anger and predictors of drop-out from PTSD treatment of veterans and first responders.

Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy, 2021, pp. 1-15
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Background: Drop-out is an important barrier in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with consequences that negatively impact clients, clinicians and mental health services as a whole. Anger is a common experience in people with PTSD and is more prevalent in military veterans. To date, no research has examined if anger may predict drop-out in military veterans or first responders. Aims: The present study aimed to determine the variables that predict drop-out among individuals receiving residential treatment for PTSD. Method: Ninety-five military veterans and first responders completed pre-treatment measures of PTSD symptom severity, depression, anxiety, anger, and demographic variables. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine if these variables predicted drop-out from treatment or patterns of attendance. Results: Female gender was predictive of drop-out. However, when analysed by occupation female gender was predictive of drop-out among first responders and younger age was predictive of drop-out in military participants. Anger, depression, anxiety and PTSD symptom severity were not predictive of drop-out in any of the analyses. No variables were found to predict attendance patterns (consistent or inconsistent) or early versus late drop-out from the programme. Conclusion: These results suggest that although anger is a relevant issue for treating PTSD, other factors may be more pertinent to drop-out, particularly in this sample. In contrast with other findings, female gender was predictive of drop-out in this study. This may indicate that in this sample, there are unique characteristics and possible interacting variables that warrant exploration in future research.
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