Predictors of length of stay among OEF/OIF/OND veteran inpatient PTSD treatment noncompleters

Derek D. Szafranski, Daniel F. Gros, Deleene S. Menefee, Jill L. Wanner, Peter J. Norton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


High rates of attrition occur in outpatient and inpatient evidence-based treatments (EBTs) targeting newly returning veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation New Dawn (OND) with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traditionally, research has examined attrition as a dichotomous variable (i.e., noncompleters vs. completers) and focused almost exclusively on outpatient EBTs for PTSD. These studies have provided little information to inpatient psychiatric providers about timing-related predictors of treatment discontinuation. The present study attempted to mend these gaps by examining attrition as a continuous variable and investigated predictors of length of stay (LOS) among 282 OEF/OIF/OND male veterans, 69 of which did not complete the full 25-day intensive, multimodal inpatient PTSD EBT program. At admission, participants completed a series of clinician-rated, biological, and self-report assessments. Linear regression analyses were used to identify predictors of shorter LOS. The results demonstrated that less improvement in symptom reduction, overall functioning, and greater number of drugs used at admission were significant and unique predictors of shorter LOS. Overall, these findings reveal clinically relevant, timing-related predictors of attrition and provide generalizable clinical information to inpatient psychiatric providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-274
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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