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Logo of jabaJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis Web SiteSubscriber LoginJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Web SiteSubscription InformationInformation for AuthorsJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis Web SiteJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis Web Site
J Appl Behav Anal. 1976 Summer; 9(2): 141–145.
PMCID: PMC1311918

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


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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