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Title: Does telephone counselling improve clinic adherence? Findings from a randomised controlled trial in a tertiary centre in Nigeria

Authors: Paul Ojieiriaikhi Erohubie; Bawo Onesirosan James; Joyce Ohiole Omoaregba; Sunday Onyemaechi Oriji; Chijioke Chimbo; Omigie Ann Erohubie

Addresses: Department of Psychiatry, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria ' Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria ' Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria ' Department of Mental Health, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi Campus, Anambra State, Nigeria ' General Hospital Gembu, Gembu, Taraba State, Nigeria ' Department of Radiology, Edo State University, Iyamho, Uzairue, Nigeria

Abstract: Defaulting from scheduled outpatient clinic visit is common in all medical specialties and is particularly high in mental health clinics. Studies comparing phone call interventions and text-messaging regarding clinic attendance in clinical settings have reported conflicting results. This study assessed the effect of phone call-based adherence counselling on clinic attendance among outpatients with schizophrenia. A double-blind randomised controlled trial was conducted among 86 adult outpatients. Participants in the control group received a short message service (SMS) from the researchers reminding them of their clinic appointment while participants in the intervention group received phone call-based adherence counselling in addition to SMS reminders. Remarkably higher number of participants in the intervention group attended the first clinic appointment compared with the control group. However, the difference was not statistically significant. There was no superiority of a combination of phone call-based brief adherence counselling and SMS over SMS alone in improving clinic attendance.

Keywords: telephone counselling; clinic attendance; schizophrenia; randomised controlled trial; short message service; SMS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMCP.2022.123143

International Journal of Telemedicine and Clinical Practices, 2022 Vol.3 No.4, pp.351 - 372

Published online: 31 May 2022 *

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