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Can a card mailing system help to reduce the waiting list at an alcohol problems clinic?

  • R. Goldbeck (a1)
Extract

Non-attendance at new patient clinics is a well-known problem in psychiatry and particularly common in alcohol treatment units. Reported non-attendance rates in this field range from 12.3% (Addenbrooke & Rathod, 1990) to 52% (Wanberg & Jones, 1973). A number of factors may contribute to this failure to attend including a long waiting time, lack of consent to the referral (e.g. by the GP), postal and administrative problems and the nature of the disorder itself. Hyslop & Kershaw (1981) contacted patients who failed to attend an alcoholism referral clinic in an attempt to establish their reasons for non-attendance. Out of the 39 patients contacted 23 appeared to have good reasons for not attending while 16 gave poor reasons and refused the offer of a second appointment. Ways of increasing attendance at new patient clinics have included reduction of waiting time (Hyslop & Kershaw, 1981) and telephone and written prompts prior to the appointment (Bourgoyne et al, 1983; Grover et al, 1983).

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Addenbrooke, W. M. & Rathod, N. H. (1990) Relationship between waiting time and retention in treatment amongst substance abusers. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 26, 255264.
Bourgoyne, R. V., Acosta, F. X. & Yamamoto, J. (1983) Telephone prompting to increase attendance at a psychiatric out-patient clinic. American Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 345347.
Grover, S., Gagnon, G., Flegel, D. M. & Hoey, J. R. (1983) Improving appointment keeping by patients new to a hospital medical clinic with telephone or mailed reminders. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 129, 11011103.
Hyslop, A. & Kershaw, P. (1981) Non-attenders at an alcoholism referral clinic. Health Bulletin, 39, 314319.
Wanberg, K. W. & Jones, E. (1973) Initial contact and admission of persons requesting treatment for alcohol problems. British Journal of Addiction, 68, 281285.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Can a card mailing system help to reduce the waiting list at an alcohol problems clinic?

  • R. Goldbeck (a1)
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