Drop out from out-patient mental healthcare in the World Health Organization's World Mental Health Survey initiative

J Elisabeth Wells, Mark Oakley Browne, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Ali Al-Hamzawi, Jordi Alonso, Matthias C Angermeyer, Colleen Bouzan, Ronny Bruffaerts, Brendan Bunting, José Miguel Caldas-de-Almeida, Giovanni De Girolamo, Ron De Graaf, Silvia Florescu, Akira Fukao, Oye Gureje, Hristo Ruskov Hinkov, Chiyi Hu, Irving Hwang, Elie G. Karam, Stanislav KostyuchenkoViviane Kovess-Masfety, Daphna Levinson, Zhaorui Liu, Maria Elena Medina-Mora, S. Haque Nizamie, José A. Posada-Villa, Nancy A. Sampson, Dan J Stein, Maria Carmen Viana, Ronald C Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous community surveys of the drop out from mental health treatment have been carried out only in the USA and Canada. Aims: To explore mental health treatment drop out in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. Method: Representative face-to-face household surveys were conducted among adults in 24 countries. People who reported mental health treatment in the 12 months before interview (n = 8482) were asked about drop out, defined as stopping treatment before the provider wanted. Results: Overall, drop out was 31.7%: 26.3% in high-income countries, 45.1% in upper-middle-income countries, and 37.6% in low/ lower-middle-income countries. Drop out from psychiatrists was 21.3% overall and similar across country income groups (high 20.3%, upper-middle 23.6%, low/lower-middle 23.8%) but the pattern of drop out across other sectors differed by country income group. Drop out was more likely early in treatment, particularly after the second visit. Conclusions: Drop out needs to be reduced to ensure effective treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalThe British Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Cite this