Aim: Dropping out of psychological interventions is estimated to occur in up to a third of individuals with psychosis. Given the high degree of attrition in this population, identifying predictors of attrition is important to develop strategies to retain individuals in treatment. We observed a particularly high degree of attrition (48%) in a recent randomized controlled study assessing cognitive health interventions for first-episode psychosis participants with comorbid social anxiety. Due to the importance of developing interventions for social anxiety in first episode psychosis, the aim of the present study was to identify putative predictors of attrition through a secondary analysis of data.
Methods: Participants (n = 96) with first episode psychosis and comorbid social anxiety were randomized to receive cognitive behavioural therapy for social anxiety or cognitive remediation. Differences between completers and non-completers (<50% intervention completed) were compared using t-tests or chi-square analyses; statistically significant variables were entered into a multivariate logistic regression model.
Results: Non-completers tended to be younger, had fewer years of education and had lower levels of social anxiety compared to completers. Lower baseline social anxiety and younger age were statistically significant predictors of non-completion in the logistic regression model.
Conclusions: Age and social anxiety were predictors of attrition in cognitive health interventions in first episode psychosis populations with comorbid social anxiety. In the ongoing development of social anxiety interventions for this population, future studies should investigate specific engagement strategies, intervention formats and outcome monitoring to improve participant retention in treatment.
Keywords: attrition; engagement; psychosis; psychosocial intervention; social anxiety.
© 2023 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.