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Amit Gupta, Siegfried Wagner, Laxmi Raja, Robbert Struyven, Mario Cortina-Borja, Pearse Andrew Keane, Josef Huemer, Konstantinos Balaskas, Dawn Sim, Jugnoo Rahi, Ameenat Solebo, Swan Kang; Determinants of Non-Attendance in Face-to-Face Ophthalmic Clinics Pre- and During the Coronavirus Pandemic. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(7):2813 – A0143.
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Previous evidence suggests serial ‘non-attenders’ to clinic appointments are more likely to be socially disadvantaged, afflicted by poor health, and have higher use of emergency healthcare. This report seeks to quantify and characterise factors associated with non-attendance within a population of patients for face-to-face (F2F) outpatient appointments, pre—and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was a retrospective cohort study of all National Health Service (NHS) patients, aged 18 and over, who were newly referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a tertiary ophthalmic institution consisting of a principal central site, four district hubs and five satellite clinics in London between January 1st 2019 and November 1st 2021. We included patients referred to the adnexal, cataract, general ophthalmology, glaucoma and medical retina services. Only the patient’s first encounter (attendance or non-attendance) with MEH was included.
A total of 70,328 of first appointments were F2F (mean age pre-pandemic: 54 and pandemic: 56 – IQR: 30 for both cohorts). The non-attendance rates for face-to-face pre-pandemic were 9.0% and face-to-face pandemic were 10.5%. Male sex (adjusted odds ratio pre-pandemic: 0.85, 0.80-0.91 and pandemic: 0.89, 0.82-0.97), greater levels of deprivation (adjusted odds ratio pre-pandemic: 0.89, 0.88-0.91 and pandemic: 0.91, 0.90-0.93), incompletion of self-reported ethnicity and a previously cancelled appointment (whether instigated by the hospital or patient) were strongly associated with non-attendance within this mode of care delivery (p<0.01).
Overall, male sex and greater socioeconomic deprivation are associated with poorer attendance. More specifically, non-attendance was higher amongst patients with self-reported Black ethnicity and early morning appointment times. Older patients, self-reported Caucasian ethnicity, those with diabetes and later appointment times were associated with higher levels of attendance. Further study is warranted to evaluate whether enhanced surveillance of certain cohorts could improve non-attendance rates in these groups.
This abstract was presented at the 2022 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Denver, CO, May 1-4, 2022, and virtually.
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