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Text-messaging to reduce missed appointment in a youth clinic: a randomised controlled trial
  1. Françoise Narring1,2,
  2. Noëlle Junod Perron2,
  3. Melissa Dominicé Dao2,
  4. Nadia Camparini Righini2,
  5. Jean-Paul Humair2,
  6. Barbara Broers2,
  7. Jean-Michel Gaspoz2,
  8. Dagmar M Haller1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Child and Adolescent, Adolescent & Young Adult Program, Geneva University Hospitals and Geneva University, Geneva, Switzerland
  2. 2Department of Community Medicine, Primary Care and Emergency Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals and Geneva University, Geneva, Switzerland
  3. 3Primary Care Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Françoise Narring, Unité Santé Jeunes, Programme Adolescents et Jeunes Adultes, Département de l'Enfant et de l'Adolescent et Département de Médecine Communautaire, de Premier Recours et des Urgences, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, 87, Boulevard de la Cluse, CH-1211 Genève 14, Switzerland; Francoise.Narring{at}


Background To assess the effectiveness of text-messages in reducing the proportion of non-attendance in a youth clinic of a University Hospital.

Methods Patients who registered for an appointment and provided a mobile phone number were randomly selected to receive or not a text-message reminder before the planned appointment. A 10% reduction in the proportion of missed appointments was considered clinically and economically useful and the study was powered accordingly.

Results The proportion of missed appointments was 16.4% (95% CI 13.1% to 19.8%) in the text-message group (N 462) and 20.0% (95% CI 16.6% to 23.4%) in the control group (N 529), showing no significant effect of the intervention (p=0.346).

Conclusions In our primary care youth clinic, text-message reminders are not effective in reducing the proportion of missed appointments. This may in part be due to the fact that most patients are referred by a professional or by their parents and do not initiate appointments themselves.

  • Adolescents CG
  • Randomised Trials
  • General Practice

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