Increasing initial appointment attendance in paediatric mental health clinics: A call for theory-driven interventions

Holly Etchegary, Normand Carrey, Janet Curran, Jill Hatchette
2010 E-Journal of Applied Psychology  
Initial appointment nonattendance is a serious problem for paediatric mental health services in Canada. In this paper, we report a research proposal designed to test whether a theory-based intervention can increase firsttime attendance rates in paediatric mental health clinics. A mixed method approach is proposed to understand beliefs about initial appointments and nonattendance. We propose semi-structured interviews with parents/guardians, focus groups with children and youth, and a postal
more » ... h, and a postal survey of parents and children in order to administer our intervention. The intervention is theoretically guided by the idea of Implementation Intentions, or 'if-then' plans. While results are not yet available, it is expected that the use of a theory-based, low-cost intervention will increase attendance at initial child mental health appointments. In this paper, we aim to encourage researchers and clinicians to consider the use of theory-driven interventions in their work in mental health. Theoretically-guided research may allow us to prospectively identify children and youth at greater risk of missing their initial appointment and thereby target them with measures to improve attendance.
doi:10.7790/ejap.v6i1.172 fatcat:wioltlvvabgijhbpkyxkstvcky