A social support intervention alone and with reminders improved appointment keeping among patients with chronic illnesses
Question Can social support strategies improve appointment keeping among patients with chronic illnesses?
Randomised controlled trial with follow up at 3 months.
An ambulatory medical clinic in a large, inner city hospital in the US.
200 clinic patients (71% women, 95% black, 69% >50 y old) who were diagnosed with chronic asymptomatic illnesses (usually diabetes and/or hypertension), had ≥1 previous clinic appointment, were scheduled for follow up appointments within 3 months, and were able to identify a family member or significant other who could be reached by telephone. Most of the patients had an annual family income of <US$7000 (87%), ≤9 years of formal education (63%), and were widowed or divorced (55%).
Patients were allocated to 1 of 3 intervention groups (each group n=50) or to the control group (n=50). All groups received an exit interview which involved completing a questionnaire. Patients in the control group (A) …