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Life challenges prevent those with lupus from keeping doctors' appointments
Date:11/5/2011

ng 31-70 percent of their appointments; and 71 patients were "good" attendees attending 71-100 percent of their appointments.

After excluding the "poor" group from their calculations, because there were too few to be statistically significant, the researchers found that the "average" and "good" attendees had an overall appointment compliance rate of 67 percent.

During the second phase of the study, for the purpose of improving the appointment compliance rate among these patients, motivational, reminder phone calls were made the day prior to their appointments. After this intervention, 69 percent of patients attended their appointments, which showed that the reminder-call had no statistically significant effect on behavior.

"This proved that these patients weren't missing their appointments because of forgetfulness, and shows that there are other factors that prevented them from arriving on the day of their appointment that they could not predict," explained Persad.

After following up with patients who missed their appointments, the researchers found that 44 percent of these individuals cited transportation, and 19 percent claimed that child care were the top two reasons for missing their appointments.

"From this study, we now can say that these patients have social obstacles that are the real issue, it's not that they are forgetful, or that they do not take their own medical care seriously," said Dr. Erkan. "Improving transportation services or temporary childcare for these patients is potentially an important approach to ensure that this patient population receives the attentive care they need and deserve."

A common and potentially dangerous health concern for these individuals is kidney inflammation, because, in lupus patients, the body's own immune system may attack different organs including kidneys. If not monitored regularly, someone with lupus might be faced with kidney malfunction without experiencing
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Contact: Phyllis Fisher
phyllis.fisher@gmail.com
212-606-1197
Hospital for Special Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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