ERIC Number: ED162219
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May-5
Reducing Failed Initial Appointments in a Community Mental Health Center.
Hochstadt, Neil J.; Trybula, John, Jr.
Urban Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC's) are faced with large case loads and long waiting lists. Clients failing the initial appointment represent a significant loss of staff time and resources to CMHC's. Despite the high rate of failed initial appointments reported, no studies have looked at means of reducing the failure rate. In the current study 88 subjects were assigned to one of four intervention groups. Group A received a letter three days prior to initial appointment; group B received a telephone call three days prior to initial appointment; group C received a telephone call one day prior to initial appointment; group D was a control. The content of the telephone call and letter were identical. Subjects were reminded of date and time of appointment and name of worker. The results showed a significant reduction in the rate of failed initial appointments. In Group C, 91% of subjects kept the initial appointments; in both Groups A and B, 68% kept their initial appointments. Only 45% of the control group kept their appointments. The effectiveness of these intervention techniques in reducing the failure rate, and thereby enhancing the resources of CMHC's , was discussed. Possible explanations for differences in the effectiveness of the three intervention techniques, as well as age, sex and SES variables, were explored. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (50th, Chicago, Illinois, May 4-6, 1978)