Dropout from Mental Health Treatment Among Asylum-Seekers in Israel: A Retrospective Chart Study

Yael D. Lewis*, Rafael Youngmann, Lilac Lev-Ari, Tamar Gluck, Ravit Hileli, Hadar Tzur, Yael Nehama, Ido Lurie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dropout from psychiatric treatment and psychotherapy is common among asylum-seekers, even though they are at increased risk of emotional distress and psychiatric disorders. We aimed to define the associations between demographic and clinical variables and dropout among asylum-seekers in Israel. In this retrospective chart review we initially examined 271 files from Gesher (Bridge, in Hebrew), a government psychiatric clinic for asylum-seekers. All cases were considered eligible provided data were sufficient and asylum-seeker status could be ascertained. Of the 101 files included in the analysis, comparisons between patients who dropped out and patients who continued treatment were made, and logistic regression for dropout risk was conducted. In the study sample, 27 patients (26.7%) dropped out of treatment. Diagnosis of psychotic spectrum disorder and shorter time in Israel were significantly associated with dropout. Parenthood was significantly associated with dropout for men, but not for women. Defining factors associated with dropout and adherence to therapy for asylum-seekers may help improve ambulatory mental health services and the outcomes of treatment for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-547
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Asylum-seekers
  • Attrition
  • Dropout
  • Mental health


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