We evaluated the effects of introducing and discontinuing an intervention designed to improve adherence with scheduled appointments in a pediatric allergy clinic. Five nonadherent and three adherent patients received reminders and incentives for keeping their scheduled appointments. Adherence with appointments increased for three of the five nonadherent children, who had an average increase of 13%, and adherent patients continued to keep appointments during the intervention condition. After 10 scheduled allergy clinic appointments had been kept, incentives were discontinued while reminders continued. Improvements in adherence were not maintained after incentives were discontinued and two children showed reductions in adherence to below-baseline levels. Incentive programs increase appointment keeping, but discontinuing incentives abruptly may result in the return of nonadherence, even when reminders are provided as a maintenance strategy. Future pediatric psychology research and practice should investigate both the benefits and limitations of strategies designed to improve adherence.
- Appointment keeping
- Behavioral pediatrics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology