Missed Appointments: Factors Contributing to High No-Show Rates in an Urban Pediatrics Primary Care Clinic

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 Sep;54(10):976-82. doi: 10.1177/0009922815570613. Epub 2015 Feb 12.


Background: Missed appointments complicate primary care services.

Objective: To determine factors associated with missed pediatric appointments.

Design/methods: A convenience sample of 1537 patients who missed appointments were called and 386 (25%) families completed the 26-item survey. Those with high no-show rates were compared with the rest using χ(2) and Fisher's exact tests. Initial covariates with P < .2 were included in a multivariate logistic regression model.

Results: Common reasons for missing appointments were the following: forgot (27%), transportation problems (21%), and time off of work (14%). The high no-show group had more African Americans (P = .030) and older patients (P = .003). Higher no-show rates correlated with well child visits (P = .029) and perception of "excellent health" (P = .022). In the logistic regression model, well child appointments (odds ratio = 2.56) and increasing age in years (odds ratio = 1.11) were associated with higher no-show rates.

Conclusions: Efforts to decrease no-show rates should target older patients and well child visits.

Keywords: appointments and schedules; missed appointments; pediatric care; primary health care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Child
  • Demography
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Massachusetts
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health Services*