Brief acceptance-based intervention for increasing intake attendance at a community mental health center

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Intake no-show rates for psychotherapy vary from 20% to 57% (Swenson & Pekarik, 1988), and experiential avoidance may be related to failure to attend intake sessions. This pilot study attempted to increase intake attendance at a community mental health center by employing a brief experiential acceptance-based intervention. Those who scheduled intakes were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: orientation letter or acceptance-enhanced orientation letter; rates from these conditions were compared with a retrospective comparison control group. Participants were randomized by way of an online random number generator. Persons assigned to the orientation group did not have a higher show rate than persons within the control group (̃48% compared with ̃52%). Persons assigned to the acceptance group did have higher show rates than persons in the other two groups (̃67% compared with ̃48% and ̃52%, respectively), however this difference was nonsignificant. Results suggest that brief acceptance-based interventions should be further studied for their potential value in maximizing client attendance. © 2014 American Psychological Association.

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Psychological Services

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