AIM: To determine the rate, causes and risk factors of non-attendance to the paediatric clinic in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia and to determine the efficacy of one telephone call to confirm a new appointment.
METHODS: For all non-attending patients, during a 2-month period, a pro forma was filled up based on patients' records. During a phone call, additional questions were asked, and a new appointment was offered.
RESULTS: Of 1563 patients who had an appointment, 497 (31.8%) were non-attendees. Weather conditions, the sub-specialty and timing (morning or afternoon) had a significant effect on non-attendance. Forgetfulness was the main cause. Only 160 patients could be successfully contacted. Among the contactable patients, 55 already had an appointment, and 10 had reasons not to get a new appointment. Of the 95 remaining patients, 73 (76.8%) attended the new appointment.
CONCLUSION: The non-attendance rate was high. One telephone call had a reasonable efficacy for the contactable patients, but because a high number of patients were not contactable, overall effectiveness was poor.
Study site: Paediatric clinic, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), Kelantan, Malaysia,
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.