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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | February 2021

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SMS reminders: reducing DNA at a community mental health depot clinic

SMS reminders: reducing DNA at a community mental health depot clinic
Mental Health

Pages: 50 - 55

Article topics: CMHT depot clinics, Non-attendance, SMS reminders

Increased rates of non-attendance/did not attend (DNA) to healthcare appointments remain a problem in the National Health Service in terms of increased costs and wasted clinician time (Stone et al, 1999; Murdock et al, 2002; Milne et al, 2006; Sims et al, 2012; National Health Service, 2019). As resources become increasingly limited, this needs to be tackled. One of the main reasons for missed appointments is forgetfulness (Kilaspy et al, 2000; Neal et al, 2005). This evaluation assessed the effect of an inexpensive short message service (SMS) reminder programme on 76 patients who attended 496 depot clinic appointments in a community mental health team (CMHT). As a result, the average DNA reduced from between 5% and 12%. Attendance was also found to be correlated with frequency of depot administration. SMS reminders could provide an inexpensive way of achieving reductions in DNA at CMHT depot clinics, but further research with a larger and randomised sample size is indicated.

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