East African Journal of Public Health
East African Public Health Association
Vol. 5, No. 3, 2008, pp. 154-156
Bioline Code: lp08028
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
East African Journal of Public Health, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2008, pp. 154-156
© Copyright 2008 - East African Journal of Public Heath
Why Patients Miss Follow-up Appointments: A Prospective Control-Matched Study|
Van der Meer, G. & Loock, J.W.
To investigate missed appointments in a South African tertiary hospital.
Prospective, descriptive series with controls.
The ENT/Oncology clinic at Tygerberg Academic Hospital, South Africa. Subjects: 305 patients with a head and neck malignancy who had follow-up appointments over 4 consecutive months between June and September 2006. A control group of 31 patients who attended the clinic was recruited in September 2006.
Analysis of the clinic attendance statistics to identify patients who missed follow-up appointments followed by a file review and interview of these patients. The results were compared with a control group. Outcome measures: 1) Incidence rate of failure to attend follow-up. 2) Causative factors
51 (17%) booked patients missed their appointments. Non-attenders were most likely to miss their follow-up between 6 and 12 months (17/31) after treatment. No correlations were found between diagnosis, disease stage and missed appointments.
transport (19 responses), ill-health (6) and financial constraints (5). State transport was unavailable to almost two-thirds of the responders who cited transport as a problem.
The 17% missed appointment rate is largely due to transport constraints. The commonest time for patients to miss appointments is the 6-12 month follow-up period. The authors seek to identify patients at risk of missed appointments and suggest interventions to decrease this incidence.
Cancer, Appointments, Transport, Follow-up