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J Appl Behav Anal. 1976 Summer; 9(2): 141–145.
PMCID: PMC1311918

Prompts to increase attendance in a community mental-health center.

Abstract

The effect of a brief appointment reminder for mental-health center applicants is reported. A standardized phone message was delivered by an administrative staff member one to three days before the appointment and a sequential experimental design alternating baseline and phone message conditions was used to assess the effects of the procedure. The no-show rate averages were 32%, 11%, 25%, and 14% respectively. The cost of the procedure was $162.00, which was totally recovered when only six appointments were kept. Since over 1000 patients were involved in the study, the return on the investment of +162.00 is considerable. Implications for this procedure are discussed for other community mental-health centers and for other community care-giving agencies.

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