Eades C & Alexander H (2019) A mixed-methods exploration of non-attendance at diabetes appointments using peer researchers. Health Expectations, 22 (6), pp. 1260-1271. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.12959
Non‐attendance at diabetes appointments is costly to the health service and linked with poorer patient outcomes.
Peer researchers aimed to conduct interviews and survey people who miss appointments about their beliefs and perceptions regarding their diabetes and diabetes appointments.
A mixed‐methods cross‐sectional design with interviews conducted by peer researchers with diabetes and a questionnaire was used.
Setting and participants
Peer researchers conducted semi‐structured telephone interviews in one health board in Scotland with ten people who had missed diabetes appointments. A further 34 people who had missed appointments completed a questionnaire. The study was informed by two psychological theories (the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Self‐Regulation Model), and interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.
Interviewees planned to attend appointments but practical barriers, low perceived value of appointments and the feeling that diabetes had little impact upon their lives’ emerged as key reasons for missing appointments. Questionnaire data supported these findings and showed that respondents perceived diabetes to have only mildly serious consequence and cause limited concern and emotional impact. Participants’ understanding of their condition and perceptions of personal control and treatment control were low. Gender, perceived behavioural control and emotional representations were significantly associated with the number of appointments missed in the previous year.
These findings highlight the importance of psychological variables in predicting non‐attendance at diabetes appointments and provide avenues for how non‐attendance might be tackled.
diabetes; health psychology; non‐attendance; patient and public involvement
Health Expectations: Volume 22, Issue 6