Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP


The term superutilizer is used to classify individuals who frequent emergency departments and inpatient medical settings for preventable reasons. The exact criteria for this term are unclear, and there is dearth of literature on how it applies to the outpatient medical setting and to mental health utilization. The purpose of this study was to identify potential client demographic and clinical variables predictive of the utilization of mental health services/resources, as measured by number of sessions attended over the course of treatment in an outpatient mental health setting. It was hypothesized there would be a predictive relationship between being female, younger, having higher Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scores, having a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, seeing a psychiatrist, employment, service location (suburban or urban), referral source (personal or professional), number of comorbid/chronic conditions, and number of sessions attended. It was also hypothesized that there would be a significant decrease in PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores over the course of treatment. The current study was conducted using archival records from the patient database of Delaware County Professional Services. Gender was the only variable that was significantly correlated with number of sessions attended (r = .114, p = .044). The overall regression model was not significant, although it approached significance. There was a significant decrease in PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores between baseline and the 12th session. Potential explanations of the results, limitations of the current study, and future directions are provided.