A significant number of people with type 1 diabetes do not attend their clinic appointments. This study investigated the reasons
underlying this decision and explored possible service improvement strategies.
This was a cross‐sectional telephone survey among all
patients with type 1 diabetes missing at least one appointment at a
diabetes clinic between 1 October 2009 and 30 September
2010. Patients were asked two questions: why they did not attend the
appointment and how attendance could be improved.
The initial ‘did not attend’ (DNA) rate for all appointments
was 17.6% (808/4595 appointments). Of these, the largest number
were missed by patients (n=252) with type 1 diabetes. After
excluding 79 patients no longer under the service, 126/173 (72.8%)
were able to be contacted and answered the questions.
Forgetting the appointment was the most frequent response (34.9%). Many
patients advised not to send appointment reminder letters
too far ahead of appointments (12.7%, 16) and to send a text message
reminder (26.2%, 33) two weeks before the appointment.
The findings suggest that there is a role for improving the
administrative approach to patients' appointments, reminding patients
in advance and improving communication between hospital
staff and patients. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons.