Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Work

Major Professor

William R. Nugent


A field study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the number of problems identified by clients, their expectancy of improvement, a client’s identified therapy goal, and the number of missed appointments. Information about the number of problems, expectancy of improvement and therapy goal were obtained prior to the client first meeting with his/her therapist. The case records of 90 clients (N=416) who attended a non-metropolitan county outpatient mental health agency were reviewed. Data was collected on the number of problems identified by clients, whether a client expected to reduce reported distress, and whether a client identified a therapy goal. The results suggested that the number of problems identified by a client, whether they identified a therapy goal or expected to reduce their level of stress, were not related to whether a client would miss appointments. Thus, research on the reasons why clients miss appointments warrants further study.

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