Failure to complete psychiatric treatment is an extensive and wasteful problem. This retrospective case note study of 252 patients, suffering from a neurotic disorder, investigated which clinical and sociodemographic factors were associated with premature termination of psychiatric treatment. It was found that a history of deliberate self harm was strongly linked with the patients discontinuing their treatment. Other clinical factors, viz, diagnosis, duration of illness, a history of alcohol abuse and a family history of psychiatric illness were not however associated with premature termination of treatment. Older patients and those who were married were least likely to end treatment in this fashion, but sex of the patient, employment status, and distance from the hospital had no such link. Belonging to socioeconomic group 5 was significantly associated with premature termination although no other associations with social groupings were found.