Nonattendance in pediatric pulmonary clinics: an ambulatory survey

Aviv D Goldbart, Jacob Dreiher, Daniel A Vardy, Soliman Alkrinawi, Arnon D Cohen
BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2009, 9: 12

BACKGROUND: Nonattendance for scheduled appointments disturbs the effective management of pediatric pulmonary clinics. We hypothesized that the reasons for non-attendance and the necessary solutions might be different in pediatric pulmonary medicine than in other pediatric fields. We therefore investigated the factors associated with nonattendance this field in order to devise a corrective strategy.

METHODS: The effect of age, gender, ethnic origin, waiting time for an appointment and the timing of appointments during the day on nonattendance proportion were assessed. Chi-square tests were used to analyze statistically significant differences of categorical variables. Logistic regression models were used for multivariate analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 1190 pediatric pulmonology clinic visits in a 21 month period were included in the study. The overall proportion of nonattendance was 30.6%. Nonattendance was 23.8% when there was a short waiting time for an appointment (1-7 days) and 36.3% when there was a long waiting time (8 days and above) (p-value < 0.001). Nonattendance was 28.7% between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 37.5% after 3 p.m. (p = 0.007). Jewish rural patients had 15.4% nonattendance, Jewish urban patients had 31.2% nonattendance and Bedouin patients had 32.9% nonattendance (p < 0.004). Age and gender were not significantly associated with nonattendance proportions. A multivariate logistic regression model demonstrated that the waiting time for an appointment, time of the day, and the patients' origin was significantly associated with nonattendance.

CONCLUSION: The factors associated with nonattendance in pediatric pulmonary clinics include the length of waiting time for an appointment, the hour of the appointment within the day and the origin of the patient.

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