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Sociodemographic and Clinical Factors Associated with Nonattendance at the Hepatology Clinic.

Rustam LB, Vander Weg M, Chrischilles E, Tanaka T. Sociodemographic and Clinical Factors Associated with Nonattendance at the Hepatology Clinic. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2023 Jun 1; 68(6):2398-2405.

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BACKGROUND: Absenteeism from clinic appointments reduces efficiency, wastes resources, and contributes to longer wait times. There are limited data regarding factors associated with nonattendance in hepatology clinics. Identifying factors related to appointment nonattendance may help in the design of interventions for reducing absenteeism. METHODS: We aim to identify sociodemographic, clinical, and appointment-related factors associated with absenteeism following referral to a liver clinic in a tertiary academic center located in the US Midwest. We designed a case-control study using data from electronic medical records of patients scheduled for appointments between January 2016 and December 2021. Cases were defined as patients who canceled appointments on the same day or resulting in no-shows, and controls were those who completed the referral visit. Information about patients'' sociodemographic characteristics, appointment details, and etiology of liver disease were recorded. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to analyze factors related to nonattendance. RESULTS: Of 3404 scheduled appointments, 460 (13.5%) missed visits were recorded. In the multivariable logistic regression models, hepatitis C and alcohol-associated liver disease were associated with greater odds of nonattendance [odds ratio (OR)?4.0 (95% CI 3.2-4.9), OR?2.7 (1.7-4.2), respectively] compared to those with other liver disease. Sociodemographic characteristics associated with risk of nonattendance included being Black [OR?2.6, (1.8-3.7)], Medicaid insurance or no insurance [OR?2.3 (1.7-2.9), OR?2.5 (1.6-3.7), respectively], non-English speaking [OR?1.8 (1.1-3.1)], being unmarried [OR?1.8 (1.4-2.2)], and longer wait time ( > 30 days) until appointments [OR?1.8 (1.5-2.2)]. CONCLUSION: Several sociodemographic and administrative characteristics, as well as hepatitis C and alcohol-associated liver disease were associated with appointment nonattendance. Targeted future interventions may help to decrease nonattendance.

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