This study evaluated the effectiveness of telephone reminders on appointment-keeping in young people treated for gonorrhea. Compliance with scheduled follow-up was recorded for a total of 339 patients during three two-week periods, namely, initial baseline phase, intervention phase during which attempts were made to remind the patients by telephone, and repeat baseline phase.
There was no overall improvement in compliance with follow-up during intervention (31%), compared to baseline (32%). However, data from the intervention phase revealed a significantly higher rate of appointment-keeping for those patients who were contacted (44%) than for patients who were not reachable (20%). Furthermore, when we reanalyzed the data as a function of telephone ownership for all patients who did not receive a reminder, return rates were significantly higher for patients owning telephones (32%) than for those denying phone ownership (18%). Thus, we conclude that the likelihood for appointment compliance was related more to sociobehavioral factors reflected in telephone ownership than to the telephone reminders. J Dev Behav Pediatr 8:133–135, 1987. Index terms: appointment compliance, adolescents, gonorrhea.
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