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13-12-2012 | General practice | Article

DNAs peak on Mondays

Abstract

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medwireNews: GP surgery Did Not Attend (DNA) rates are highest on Mondays, with attendance improving with each day as the week progresses, a study in Scotland has found.

Dr David Ellis and Dr Rob Jenkins, from University of Glasgow, report in PLoS ONE that the average DNA rate was 6.2% on Mondays and fell to 4.2% on Fridays, with decreases on each intervening appointment day.

Their findings come from an analysis of attendance records for 10,895 appointments at a single GP clinic in Glasgow

The researchers found the same pattern when they analysed over 4.5 million outpatient hospital appointments across Scotland over a 2-year period, between 2008 and 2010, with a DNA rate of 11% on Mondays, falling to 9.7% on Fridays. Again a decline in DNAs was seen across each intervening weekday.

"In two very different settings, appointments at the beginning of the week were more likely to be missed than appointments at the end of the week," the authors write.

They note that the findings reflect patterns in emotional responses to weekday cues, whereby people consistently associate Mondays with negative emotions and Fridays with more positive ones.

Ellis and Jenkins say this suggests a "simple strategy for reducing non-attendance: where practicable, load appointments towards the end of a week".

"Exploiting this weekday effect could save money and improve patient care," they conclude.

medwireNews (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price, Senior medwireNews Reporter