Background Non-attendance of 42% has been reported for outpatient colonoscopy among persons with low socioeconomic status (SES) in an open access system in the USA.
Objectives To evaluate attendance to outpatient endoscopy among populations with low SES after inperson consultations with endoscopists prior to scheduling.
Methods Retrospectively, we reviewed the endoscopy schedule from September 2009 to August 2010 in an inner city teaching hospital in Washington, DC. We identified patients who came for their procedures. We defined non-attendance as when patients did not notify the facility up to 24 h prior to their scheduled procedures and did not show up.
Results A total of 3304 patients were scheduled for outpatient endoscopy (mean age 55.2 years; 59.5% women). Only 36 (1.1%) patients were uninsured. 716 (21.7%) patients did not show up for their procedures. There were no differences in attendance by age, sex and race. Patients seen in a private endoscopist's office (OR=1.47; 95% CI 1.07 to 2.04) were more likely to attend when compared with patients seen in trainees’ continuity clinic. Married patients (OR=1.40; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.78) were also more likely to attend. Conversely, Medicaid and uninsured patients were less likely to attend. Restricting our analysis to patients scheduled for only colonoscopy yielded similar results except that patients aged 50 years and older were more likely to attend.
Conclusions Our study suggests improved attendance to endoscopy when populations with lower SES undergo prior consultation with an endoscopist. There is a potential to further improve attendance to outpatient endoscopy by directly involving the social support of the patients.