Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Factors Associated With Missed and Cancelled Colonoscopy Appointments at Veterans Health Administration Facilities.

Partin MR, Gravely A, Gellad ZF, Nugent S, Burgess JF, Shaukat A, Nelson DB. Factors Associated With Missed and Cancelled Colonoscopy Appointments at Veterans Health Administration Facilities. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. 2016 Feb 1; 14(2):259-67.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND and AIMS: Cancelled and missed colonoscopy appointments waste resources, increase colonoscopy delays, and can adversely affect patient outcomes. We examined individual and organizational factors associated with missed and cancelled colonoscopy appointments in Veteran Health Administration facilities. METHODS: From 69 facilities meeting inclusion criteria, we identified 27,994 patients with colonoscopy appointments scheduled for follow-up, on the basis of positive fecal occult blood test results, between August 16, 2009 and September 30, 2011. We identified factors associated with colonoscopy appointment status (completed, cancelled, or missed) by using hierarchical multinomial regression. Individual factors examined included age, race, sex, marital status, residence, drive time to nearest specialty care facility, limited life expectancy, comorbidities, colonoscopy in the past decade, referring facility type, referral month, and appointment lead time. Organizational factors included facility region, complexity, appointment reminders, scheduling, and prep education practices. RESULTS: Missed appointments were associated with limited life expectancy (odds ratio [OR], 2.74; P = .0004), no personal history of polyps (OR, 2.74; P < .0001), high facility complexity (OR, 2.69; P = .007), dual diagnosis of psychiatric disorders and substance abuse (OR, 1.82; P < .0001), and opt-out scheduling (OR, 1.57; P = .02). Cancelled appointments were associated with age (OR, 1.61; P = .0005 for 85 years or older and OR, 1.44; P < .0001 for 65-84 years old), no history of polyps (OR, 1.51; P < .0001), and opt-out scheduling (OR, 1.26; P = .04). Additional predictors of both outcomes included race, marital status, and lead time. CONCLUSIONS: Several factors within Veterans Health Administration clinic control can be targeted to reduce missed and cancelled colonoscopy appointments. Specifically, developing systems to minimize referrals for patients with limited life expectancy could reduce missed appointments, and use of opt-in scheduling and reductions in appointment lead time could improve both outcomes.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.