A test of two interventions to improve compliance with scheduled mammography appointments

J Gen Intern Med. 1996 Sep;11(9):539-41. doi: 10.1007/BF02599601.


Failure to attend scheduled appointments for mammography results in missed opportunities for breast cancer screening. We tested interventions to decrease mammography appointment failure among women attending the medicine clinic at a public teaching hospital. Consecutive women with mammography orders from October 1992 to November 1993 (970 women undergoing 1,072 mammograms) were assigned to one of three comparison groups: usual care, mailed reminder, and mailed reminder plus nurse counseling. The appointment failure rates were 25.5% in the usual care group, 20.3% in the mailed reminder group, and 19.7% in the special intervention group (p = .13). We conclude that mailed reminders modestly improve mammography appointment keeping by about 5%, and that nurse counseling has little additional effect.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Reminder Systems*