OBJECTIVES: Patients' dependency on the therapist or treatment has received little empirical attention. To examine care dependency, we aimed to develop a theory-driven questionnaire based on three hypothetical dimensions (passive-submissive dependency; active-emotional dependency; and lack of perceived alternatives) and to provide a preliminary exploration of several correlates of care dependency.
METHOD: Care dependency, perceived social support, therapeutic alliance, remoralization, and symptom severity were measured in a large cross-sectional sample of 742 outpatients with various psychiatric disorders. Test-retest reliability was established in a smaller patient sample.
RESULTS: Findings indicated a reliable questionnaire measuring three unidimensional subscales of care dependency (i.e., submissive dependency, need for contact, and lack of perceived alternatives; α's .74, .81, and .86 respectively; rt1,t2 's .78, .76, and .80, respectively). These subscales were all positively correlated with each other and with patients' self-proclaimed care dependency, but divergent from patients' trait dependency and symptoms of a dependent personality disorder. Moreover, higher levels of care dependency were correlated with lower levels of remoralization and more symptoms severity, and with a better therapeutic alliance.
CONCLUSIONS: A reliable and valid questionnaire was developed to measure patients' care dependency. Future studies are needed to determine whether care dependency covers an unwanted side-effect or a crucial ingredient of an effective treatment.
- Journal Article
- WORKING ALLIANCE INVENTORY
- care dependency
- INTERPERSONAL DEPENDENCY
- therapeutic alliance
- PERCEIVED SOCIAL SUPPORT
- MULTIDIMENSIONAL SCALE
- psychological treatments