Reasons for non-attendance nutrition appointment among medically underserved community in Rural Mississippi

Amir Alakaam, Jennifer Lemacks, Ashley Parker


Objective: This study sought to examine the reasons for nonattendance of nutrition appointments and explore the determinants that contribute to this phenomenon among medically underserved and uninsured individuals.

Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted with five sections questionnaires distributed at a healthcare clinic in a rural area in south Mississippi. Participants (n=346) were surveyed who had attended the clinic for a health appointment. Nutrition appointment attendance, reasons to miss a scheduled nutrition appointment, and effective appointment reminders were evaluated. Descriptive statistics were determined for the variables, Chi square and bivariate correlation tests were used to determine relationships between participants’ demographics, health conditions, and other variables.

Results: About 87% of participants indicated that they had not attended a nutrition appointment and 26.8% indicated that they had missed a nutrition appointment. Most participants specified that forgetfulness (39%) and transportation problems (25%) were the most likely reasons to miss a nutrition appointment. Most indicated that a phone call would be the most effective appointment reminder. About half of participants believed the reason behind missing a nutrition appointment is that their physicians did not place importance on attending such appointment. No significant association or differences were found between the variables.

Conclusion:  Findings can be used to improve access to nutrition counseling among underserved patients, and to develop effective appointment reminders to decrease nonattendance rates. Future research is warranted to analyze the effect that nutrition appointments has on individual’s health.

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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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