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Title: Effectiveness of reminders in reducing non-attendance among out-patients
Authors: Rajasuriya, Mahesh
De Silva, Varuni
Hanwella, Raveen
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: The Psychiatrist 2010 34: 515-518
Abstract: Aims and method Non-attendance rates in a psychiatric out-patient clinic and the effectiveness of telephone or postal reminders in reducing non-attendance were evaluated. All patients who did not attend the clinic for their second appointment within 2 weeks were contacted by telephone or letter. Patients who failed to attend the clinic 6 weeks after the reminder were classified as non-attendees. Results Rate of non-attendance before the intervention was 31.3% (n = 61/195). After the intervention this was reduced to 23.1%, a relative risk reduction of 26.2%. Being male, not being prescribed medicines, having a diagnosis of psychoactive substance use or dementia were risk factors for non-attendance (odds ratio, OR41). Risk of non-attendance was low for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depressive disorder (OR51). Clinical implications A simple low-cost intervention in the form of a reminder reduced non-attendance rates. Routine implementation of this intervention should be considered in all psychiatry out-patient services in low- and middle-income countries. Declaration of interest None.
Appears in Collections:Department of Phychological Medicine

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