INTRODUCTION: It is important to identify reasons for non-attendance and late cancellations in the health care system to be able to plan possible interventions. METHOD: Patients with a scheduled visit at the outpatient clinic at the Department of Paediatrics at Kolding Hospital from September 2002 to February 2003 were randomised either to receive or not receive a mailed reminder two weeks prior to their visit. Parents to children cancelling their appointment or not attending were interviewed by telephone to reveal the reasons. >>Early cancellations<< were defined as cancellations after receiving the letter and until the last weekday before the appointment, >>late cancellations<< as any subsequent cancellations. RESULTS: A total of 229 and 250 >>early cancellations<< of the 2.563 and 2.775 booked appointments were received in the control- and the intervention group, respectively (p > 0.05). Only for >>forgot the appointment<<, a difference was found between the reasons given. >>Late cancellation<< and non-attendance occurred for 167/1,177 and 68/1,189 (p < 0,01) of the children. For 118 and 36 (p < 0.01) of these, the reasons given by the parents could be classified as predictable, and 34/1,177 and 27/1,189, respectively as non-predictable (p = 0.4). CONCLUSION: In the control group more than 70% of late cancellations and non-attendances could have been predicted by the parents, receiving a mailed reminder reduced this proportion significantly. It remains a challenge to reduce the number of non-Danish speaking patients not attending.
|Bidragets oversatte titel||Reasons for non-attendance and cancellations in a paediatric outpatient clinic|
|Tidsskrift||Ugeskrift for læger|
|Status||Udgivet - 20. apr. 2009|