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Psychiatr Serv. 2010 Jul;61(7):657-9. doi: 10.1176/ps.2010.61.7.657.

Economic grand rounds: Predictors of missed appointments over the course of child mental health treatment.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.


Although missed appointments in service delivery systems reduce effective case management, clinical efficiency, staff morale, and resource utilization, researchers have paid little attention to the impact of missed appointments on patient care. This column presents findings from a study that examined predictors of missed appointments during the course of therapy among 2,903 psychiatric patients between the ages of three and 17. Self-reported history of maternal depression proved to be the most powerful predictor. Living more than 30 miles from the clinic and having a parent who was single or never married also predicted missed appointments.

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