DNAs and DNCTs — Why Do Patients Fail to Begin or to Complete a Course of Physiotherapy Treatment?

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      This study investigated the problem of non-attendance in a physiotherapy department. It was found that in the year studied 7.9% of patients for whom appointments were made did not attend at all (DNAs) and a further 14.3% of those who did attend did not complete their course of treatment (DNCTs).
      A literature survey revealed no papers discussing this problem within a physiotherapy department. Literature discussing this problem within other hospital out-patient departments showed that age groups and non-receipt of appointments were the most likely reasons for non-attendance.
      Questionnaires were sent to random selections of DNAs and DNCTs in an attempt to uncover the reasons for this.
      While 11 out of the 34 DNAs and 16 out of the 28 DNCTs responding gave reasons similar to those found in other medical surveys, 12 DNAs said that they did not receive the appointment.

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      Biography: Mrs Vasey qualified in Sheffield in 1970 and worked in various hospitals until 1975. She returned to work in 1984 and is now a senior physiotherapist at Doncaster Royal Infirmary in out-patients and the community with responsibility for research. The work on patients failing to receive treatment arose out of research into effectiveness and outcomes and the realisation that patients who do not attend are important in assessing outcomes.