What is it about?

Dropout is an important topic in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. We provide first evidence on the prevalence and predictors of dropout in treatment provided for refugees and asylum seekers. Results showed a weighted average dropout rate of 19.14% across studies and treatment conditions. We could not find statistically significant predictors for dropout. However, we found a trend for several refugee-specific variables (e.g., longer mean duration in country of resettlement, lower rate of insecure asylum status) that may merit closer attention in future research.

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Why is it important?

The existent dropout studies have almost exclusively focused on Western or non-refugee patients, which means that the actual dropout rate and its predictors are largely unknown in the context of treatment offered to refugees and asylum seekers. Knowledge on prevalence and predictors of dropout is essential to derive suggestions for interventions aiming to reduce dropout rates. Preventing dropout appears highly relevant as premature termination of treatment has crucial effects for patients and therapists.


These findings suggest that, in contrast to widespread assumption, the estimated average dropout rate is comparable to those reported in nonrefugee populations. However, more research is needed to establish the underlying mechanisms of dropout, which may differ across populations.

Verena Semmlinger
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Dropout from psychological interventions for refugees and asylum seekers: A meta-analysis., Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, September 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/ccp0000681.
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