Date of Award

Winter 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services



Committee Director

Theodore P. Remley, Jr.

Committee Member

Renee Seay

Committee Member

Garrett McAuliffe


Inpatient group psychotherapy is one of the primary talk therapy interventions offered to patients necessitating acute psychiatric treatment. Research indicates that patients who attend and participate in group psychotherapy sessions while admitted to psychiatric hospitals have a lower rate of recidivism and are more successful in the community utilizing lower levels of psychiatric care. Unfortunately, not all patients attend group psychotherapy while admitted to a psychiatric facility and therefore do not benefit, possibly contributing to non-compliance with community-based treatment and readmissions to inpatient psychiatric institutions for stabilization and safety. This lack of participation in group psychotherapy deprives the patient the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings related to the stressors and issues leading to the psychiatric inpatient admission. It also denies the patient opportunities to engage additional supports and learn coping skills to better deal with stressors in the future to prevent additional psychiatric inpatient hospitalizations.

The intention of this study was to determine whether demographic and clinical characteristics of patients admitted to private psychiatric hospitals can be used to predict attendance and participation in psychotherapy groups. The data were archival based on 150 randomly selected patients' records from patients admitted to a hospital over a one year span (June 2009–May 2010). Forward step hierarchical regression and chi-square were the statistics used to analyze the data for this study. Findings indicated that patients who were diagnosed with co-morbid disorders, prescribed antipsychotic medications, or not compliant with taking prescribed psychotropic medications were more likely to not attend or not participate in psychotherapy groups offered while psychiatrically hospitalized. The following characteristics of patients were not associated with their attendance or participation in psychotherapy groups while hospitalized: age, marital status, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, psychosis, diminished capacity, length of admission, number of readmits, history of prior admissions, Five Axis diagnosis, Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) intake, GAF discharge, substance abuse history, anti-depressant medications, anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizer medications, sedative medications, psycho-stimulant medications, and hypnotic medications. The results of the analysis also indicate that there is a relationship between leader credentials and patients' attendance and participation in offered psychotherapy groups. However, there was no relationship between topics presented and patients' attendance and participation.