This study examined whether starting with the behavioural component of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) decreases the drop-out rate in outpatients with comorbid anxiety and depression. Retrospective data were collected on 60 patients with anxiety and depression.Mean values of different psychosocial assessment scales during screening, mid-session and discharge session were compared between the patients receiving and not receiving any type of behavioural interventions and among the patients receiving different types of behavioural interventions. A significant relationship was found (p < .05) between behavioural interventions and retention in therapy. Patients who did not receive any sort of behavioural intervention showed a greater rate of drop-out than those who received behavioural interventions. In the group of patients receiving different types of behavioural interventions, there was significant improvement in mental health scores between the screening and discharge sessions in those who received exposure therapy. The study findings will be helpful to retain patients with comorbid anxiety and depression in an outpatient therapy setting. If patient retention is increased, CBT can be more effectively delivered and thereby achieve better health outcomes for patients, more effective use of therapy service resources, and decrease the socioeconomic burden of anxiety and depression on the community.
- Behavioural activation
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Exposure therapy