A new article published in Administration and Policy for Mental Health and Mental Health Research by Warnick, Bearss, Weersing, Scahill, and Woolston describes a study in which various treatment planning strategies designed to reduce early attrition were implemented in an outpatient clinic serving about 500-600 youth annually. Participants in the implementation group were compared to a historical control group. Implementation resulted in an 11.8% increase in retention over the first five sessions and a 21.9% increase during the intervention. Engagement strategies were based on the extant literature and involved clinician training, ongoing support, and enhanced planning documentation towards developing a strong collaborative relationship between the family and the clinician.
We invite clinicians and clinical researchers to offer comments pertaining to strategies you use to enhance patient engagement in your patient settings and where you think additional research is needed.