Influencing Factors in Intake Appointment Attendance

Villanueva, James, and Cheryl Munday

The time between a prospective outpatient psychotherapy patient contacting a university psychology clinic and the time it takes for a student therapist to return contact to the patient is examined as a potential predictor of intake appointment attendance. Data were gathered from a one academic year span of archival records from an urban university psychology clinic staffed by clinical psychology Ph.D. student therapists. Potential controlling variables including patient age, distance required to travel to clinic, and frequency of attempted therapist contact were examined. The current study hypothesized that increased return contact latency results in reduced intake appointment attendance and that different demographic variables would have varying influence on intake appointment attendance. Results indicated that contact latency did not have a significant influence on intake attendance. In contrast to previous findings, distance from the treating clinic had a significant influence on treatment attendance, with farther distance associated with higher attendance.