Missed initial appointments at Israeli child development centres: Rate, reasons, and associated characteristics

Galit Hirsh-Yechezkel, Saralee Glasser*, Lidia V. Gabis, Avi Eden, David Savitzki, Adel Farhi, Osnat Luxenburg, Gila Levitan, Liat Lerner-Geva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Missed appointments (MAs) at child development centres (ChDCs) cause multiple problems: they preclude timely diagnosis and treatment of both the invited child and children whose appointment was delayed due to overbooking, as well as disrupting efficient organisational management. The aim of this study was to assess the rate and describe the reasons for missed appointments at Israeli ChDCs, and to evaluate the association of socio-demographic, clinical, and administrative variables with MA rates. Methods: This nested case-control study included all children scheduled for initial appointments (N = 1143) at three centres during 1 year. Parents of children who missed their appointment and a sample of those who attended were interviewed by telephone. Results: The rate of missed appointments was 26.6%, and the most frequent reasons were unexpected events (26.0%) and lack of insurance coverage (23.4%). Variables associated with lower MA rates were: having had ≥3 types of rehabilitative interventions (odds ratios (OR) = 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16–0.44), detailed referral letter (OR = 0.48; 95%CI 0.30–0.75), telephone reminder (OR = 0.37; 95%CI 0.24–0.57) and health maintenance organisations or private insurance coverage (OR = 0.12; 95%CI 0.06–0.17 and OR = 0.56; 95% CI 0.38–0.89, respectively). Conclusion: Encouraging physician's referral letters and personal-contact reminders can reduce missed appointments. Understanding the family's and the child's personal characteristics, and the organisational/administrative aspects of missed appointments may guide efforts to ensure timely care for every child.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2779-2793
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022


FundersFunder number
Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research91155


    • child development centre
    • disabilities
    • healthcare management
    • missed appointments
    • no-shows


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