Predictors of attendance and dropout in three randomized controlled trials of PTSD treatment for active duty service members.


Journal Article

Dropout from first-line posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments is a significant problem. We reported rates and predictors of attendance and dropout in three clinical trials of evidence-based PTSD treatments in military service members (N = 557). Service members attended 81.0% of treatment sessions and 30.7% dropped out. Individually delivered treatment was associated with greater attendance rates (β = 0.23, p < .001) than group therapy; trauma-focused treatments were associated with higher dropout (β = 0.19, p < .001) than Present-Centered Therapy. Age was a significant predictor of session attendance (β = 0.17, p < .001) and drop out (β = -0.23, p < .001). History of traumatic brain injury (TBI) predicted lower attendance rates (β = -0.26, p < .001) and greater dropout (β = 0.19, p < .001). Regardless of treatment type or format, patients who did not drop out were more likely to experience clinically significant gains (d = 0.49, p < .001). Results demonstrate that dropout from PTSD treatments in these trials was significantly associated with treatment outcome and suggest that strategies are needed to mitigate dropout, particularly in group and trauma-focused therapies, and among younger service members and those with TBI.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Berke, DS; Kline, NK; Wachen, JS; McLean, CP; Yarvis, JS; Mintz, J; Young-McCaughan, S; Peterson, AL; Foa, E; Resick, PA; Litz, BT; STRONG STAR Consortium,

Published Date

  • July 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 118 /

Start / End Page

  • 7 - 17

PubMed ID

  • 30933748

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30933748

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-622X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.brat.2019.03.003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England