Reasons for missed appointments with a hepatitis C outreach clinic : a qualitative study

POLL, Ray, ALLMARK, Peter and TOD, Angela (2016). Reasons for missed appointments with a hepatitis C outreach clinic : a qualitative study. International Journal of Drug Policy, 39, 130-137.

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Background: Non-attendance in drug service hepatitis C outreach clinics means clients miss the opportunity of being given lifestyle advice and referral to hospital for assessment and treatment. A similar problem is experienced in other services throughout the UK. A qualitative study was undertaken to investigate the problem. Methods: Clients with a history of not attending the outreach clinic were invited to participate during a routine drug clinic appointment. A contact details sheet with a preferred telephone number was completed by those agreeing to take part. Verbal consent was taken and a telephone interview took place. The participants were remunerated for taking part with a five pounds high street voucher. The ‘framework method’ was used to analyse the data with key themes identified. Results: Twenty-eight telephone interviews were undertaken from April to June 2012. All the clients gave ‘prima-facie’ reasons for non-attendance including ‘not a priority’ and ‘forgot’. However, the study indicates these are insufficient to explain the various experiences and influences. Underlying reasons that impacted upon attendance were identified. These reasons relate to (i) client characteristics e.g. ‘priority’ to score drugs and the ‘cost of travel’ (ii) clinic service e.g. ‘difficult journey’ to the clinic and timing of the ‘appointment’. The reasons operated within a complex context where other factors had an impact including addiction, welfare policy, stigma and the nature of hepatitis C itself. Conclusion: The study revealed that beneath apparently simple explanations for non-attendance, such as clients’ chaotic lifestyle resulting in them forgetting or not being bothered to attend, there were far more complex and varied underlying reasons. This has important implications for drug policy including the need to better incorporate clients’ perspectives. Policy that is based only on the simple, surface reasons is unlikely to be effective. Keywords: Hepatitis C; missed appointments; Reasons; Outreach; Drug use; Telephone interviews

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 130-137
Depositing User: Peter Allmark
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 15:57
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:53

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