September 1974

Treatment Acceptance Following Intake Assignment to Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, or Contact Group

Author Affiliations

From the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco (Dr. Hargreaves and J. Showstack), and the Center for Special Problems, San Francisco Community Mental Health Services (R. Flohr, C. Brady, and S. Harris).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(3):343-349. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760150055008

Factors relevant to the choice of individual therapy vs two types of group treatment were studied. Applicants were randomly assigned to individual therapy, to ongoing weekly therapy groups, or to a daily nonappointment contact group. The immediate acceptance of this referral was judged by whether the applicant kept his first treatment appointment and, if he did, by client and therapist ratings following this first appointment.

Results suggest that the initial acceptance of treatment could be improved by not initially assigning poorly motivated applicants to group therapy. But more surprising was the finding that shy and distressed clients best accepted the daily nonappointment contact groups while the more articulate and outgoing client responded best to the more traditional ongoing weekly group.

Clients assigned to the "wrong" type of group therapy showed poor acceptance of the referral, while the "correctly" referred group showed initial acceptance as great as comparable clients assigned to individual therapy.