Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Marriage and Family Therapy

Committee Chair(s)

W. David Robinson


W. David Robinson


Ryan Seedall


Sarah Schwartz


Clinicians in psychotherapy are constantly looking at their outcomes in order to identify and remove barriers that may inhibit effective treatment. Defined generally as the ending of a treatment prior to proper optimal benefit, attrition has been found to both hinder treatment efficacy and cost-effectiveness in therapy. While most attrition literature focuses on the contributing factors to such premature termination, little to no research is available that discusses potential resources for attrition rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the use of telehealth services which may serve as a resource to combat attrition. The current study aims to identify how COVID-19 and telehealth services have influenced attrition by analyzing attrition rates from both before and during the pandemic in a community health center where a transition to telehealth was made at the start of the pandemic. In addition, the variables of age, gender, socioeconomic status, and insurance coverage were also tested as potential predictors of attrition. Using a sample of 329 patients who had participated in therapy services within a six-month period at a community health center, I analyzed the time taken from initial appointment to the point of attrition. Results indicated that those who attended therapy via telehealth were less likely to stop attending treatment than those who participated in therapy in person. Individuals who used both in-person and telehealth visits were the least likely to terminate treatment prematurely. Clinical implications include the need for therapists to offer both telehealth and in-person services in order to give clients more resources to reduce a large barrier to needed mental healthcare treatment.



Included in

Psychology Commons