BACKGROUND: Premature treatment discontinuation (dropout) is a common problem among patients seeking treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). To prevent treatment dropout, it is important to identify its associated risk factors. The impact anxiety has on treatment dropout for MDD is especially critical to investigate due to the high rates of comorbidity between anxiety and depressive disorders. Evidence for the degree to which anxiety reliably predicts treatment dropout for MDD remains inconclusive and has yet to be investigated at an adult partial hospitalization program. Examining this can help elucidate which factors predict dropout among patients who need intensive treatment for their depression.
METHODS: Participants were patients seeking treatment for MDD at an adult partial hospitalization program (N = 461). A series of Chi-square tests and t tests were conducted to assess for any differences in frequencies of anxiety disorder comorbidities or mean scores of dimensional anxiety among patients who dropped out of treatment and those who did not.
RESULTS: No significant associations between high baseline anxiety and early dropout were found (all P > .05).
CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that no specific actions need to be taken to prevent individuals with high baseline levels of anxiety from prematurely dropping out of a partial hospitalization program.