Appointment-keeping behavior re-evaluated

Am J Public Health. 1977 Nov;67(11):1033-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.67.11.1033.


Many of the traditional approaches to the problem of appointment-keeping behavior have ignored the organizational factors that may be implicated in differentially high broken appointment rates leading to an implicit assumption that low-income and ethnic minority patients will be more likely to break appointments. A case study at a Model Cities Health Center which maintains a kept appointment rate of 85 per cent examined the relationship of broken appointments to age, sex, ethnic background, and payment mechanisms. The results suggest alternative explanations for differentially high broken appointments centering on the role of the institution in reinforcing appointment-keeping behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Communication
  • Community Health Centers* / organization & administration
  • Community Health Services* / organization & administration
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Dropouts*
  • Socioeconomic Factors