JOURNAL ARTICLE

Nonattendance of adult otolaryngology patients for scheduled appointments

A D Cohen, D M Kaplan, M Kraus, E Rubinshtein, D A Vardy
Journal of Laryngology and Otology 2007, 121 (3): 258-61
17052380

BACKGROUND: Nonattendance for appointments is an impediment to otolaryngology patient care worldwide. In a previous study of children attending an otolaryngology clinic, we observed that attendance was determined by the waiting time for an appointment and the timing of the appointment within the day. However, the factors that affect nonattendance in adults have not been well studied.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate factors associated with nonattendance in adults visiting an otolaryngology clinic.

METHODS: Nonattendance was observed for a period of one year in adult patients visiting an ambulatory otolaryngology clinic. The following parameters were also noted: age, gender, treating physician, waiting time and timing of the appointment. The chi-square test was used to analyse differences between categorical variables. The t-test was used to analyse differences between continuous variables. Logistic regression was used for multivariate analyses.

RESULTS: The study assessed 8071 visits to the otolaryngology clinic. The overall proportion of nonattendance was 27.7 per cent. A multivariate logistic regression model demonstrated that nonattendance was significantly associated with the following factors: female gender, younger age, long waiting time for an appointment, timing of the appointment within the day and the treating physician.

CONCLUSION: In adult otolaryngology patients, nonattendance was associated with patient-related factors and healthcare systems related factors alike. It is suggested that managed overbooking could be carefully introduced into otolaryngology patient scheduling.

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