No-Show Behaviour: Ethnic Minorities in a Diverse Community
Keywords:no-show, visible minority, ethnicity, country of origin, appointment, immigrant, age
Patients who fail to attend scheduled appointments without prior notification to their healthcare centres, i.e. “no-shows,” create negative outcomes for both healthcare providers and patients. This study examined whether visible-minority status, ethnicity, country of origin, immigrants’ age at arrival, and immigrants’ length of residency in Canada were related to no-show behaviours using data from 2,238 participants from four selected months—January, April, July, and October, 2012—at a community health centre in northwest Toronto, located in a highly diverse community in which 53.9% of the clients were visible minorities. The study examined two forms of no-show behaviour: number of appointments missed and percentages of appointments missed. The results suggested a relationship between the number of appointments missed with visible-minority status, ethnicity, and country of origin. A relationship was also found between percentage of appointments missed with country of origin, immigrants’ age at arrival, length of residency in Canada, and immigrants’ visible-minority status. Immigrants who had been in Canada fewer years and who arrived at a younger age showed the highest rate of no-shows. Visible-minority immigrants had a higher percentage of no-shows, though how significant this finding was depended on age at arrival. However, when both immigrants and non-immigrants were considered, the highest no-show rate came from non-immigrants who were not visible minorities. Further study should investigate reasons for no-shows using factors identified by the current study. Some recommendations for the Centre are also presented.
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