Predictors of Dropout in Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression
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Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT), provided with guidance, has been shown to outperform wait-list control conditions and appears to perform on par with face-to-face psychotherapy. However, dropout remains an important problem. Dropout rates for iCBT programs for depression have ranged from 0 to 75%, with a mean of 32%. Drawing from a recent study in which 117 people participated in iCBT with support, we examined participant characteristics, participants’ use of iCBT skills, and their experience of technical difficulties with iCBT as predictors of dropout risk. Educational level, extraversion, and participant skill use predicted lower risk of dropout; technical difficulties and openness predicted higher dropout risk. We encourage future research on predictors of dropout in the hope that greater understanding of dropout risk will inform efforts to promote program engagement and retention.
KeywordsInternet-based cognitive behavioral therapy Depression Dropout
This study was funded in part by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Award Number Grant KL2TR001068, awarded to NRF. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences or the National Institutes of Health.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Iony D. Schmidt, Nicholas R. Forand, and Daniel R. Strunk declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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