Psychologists, Social Workers, Counselors, MFTs

Treatment Refusal and Premature Termination in Psychotherapy, Pharmacotherapy, and Their Combination


Course Description: The purpose of this meta-analysis was to examine rates of treatment refusal and premature termination for pharmacotherapy alone, psychotherapy alone, pharmacotherapy plus psychotherapy, and psychotherapy plus pill placebo treatments. Clients who were assigned to pharmacotherapy were 1.76 times more likely to refuse treatment compared with clients who were assigned psychotherapy. Across studies, clients who were assigned to pharmacotherapy were 1.20 times more likely to drop out compared with clients who were assigned to psychotherapy. Treatment refusal and dropout are significant problems in both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy and providers of these treatments should seek to employ strategies to reduce their occurrence.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Compare rates of treatment refusal and premature termination between psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, their combination, and therapy plus pill placebo treatments for a broad number of psychological disorders
    • Evaluate the clinical and research implications of the rates of treatment refusal and premature termination for psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy

    Course Components:

    • Online text (included)
    • Multiple choice online exam (included)
    • Electronic certificate of completion (free)

    Course Credit(s): 1 CE Credit or Hour

    Course Format: Online Text (format of this course is noninteractive)

    Course Schedule: Self-paced

    Course Author(s): Joshua K. Swift, PhD, Roger P. Greenberg, PhD, ABMP, Kelley A. Tompkins, and Susannah R. Parkin

    Content Publisher(s): American Psychological Association

    Course Author(s) Qualifications:

    Dr. Swift is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Idaho State University. Dr. Swift completed his doctorate in clinical psychology with a quantitative specialization from Oklahoma State University.

    Dr. Greenberg is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Update University Hospital. Dr. Greenberg is a Fellow and Diplomate American Board of Medical Psychotherapists, Distinguished Professor. He is also Head, Division of Clinical Psychology, Director of Internship Training.

    Kelley Tompkins is a doctoral student in the University of Alaska Anchorage PhD Clinical-Community Psychology program and works at CBHRS as a Research Assistant.

    Susannah R. Parkin is a graduate teaching assistant at Idaho State University.

    Course Level: Beginning/Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced

    CEmobile, LLC, #1558, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. CEmobile, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 5/2/2018-5/2/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.
    Social workers participating in this course will receive 1 clinical continuing education clock hours.

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