Parent Perspectives on Appointment Nonattendance: A Descriptive Study
Jacqueline Touch and Jill P. Berg
Appointment nonattendance is a phenomenon that has been studied in a variety of settings. Increased nonattendance rates may result in lost productivity, patient
and provider dissatisfaction, and difficulty recruiting staff and physicians. In addition, needed care for patients may be delayed. The purpose of this descriptive
study was to examine parental perspectives regarding appointment nonattendance in pediatric specialty care clinics in order to better understand the facilitators
and barriers to successful appointment attendance. An exploratory, descriptive approach was chosen for this study. Eight parents of children ages five years and younger were interviewed regarding appointment attendance in specialty care clinics, and conventional content analysis was used to identify themes. Findings suggest that multiple factors are associated with nonattendance, including child/family system and provider/healthcare system factors. Reducing wait times for specialty appointments (from time of scheduling to appointment date), coordinating multiple services, and offering convenient appointment times may be beneficial in optimizing appointment attendance.