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Determinants of Nutrition Appointment Attendance Among Male Veterans Attending Veterans Health Administration Clinics

      Abstract

      Objective

      To identify determinants of nutrition appointment attendance among male veterans attending outpatient Veterans Health Administration clinics.

      Methods

      Sequential use of qualitative and quantitative methods. Individual, semi-structured interviews and a mail survey were used to identify factors associated with outpatient nutrition appointment attendance.

      Results

      Qualitative analysis of 17 interviews revealed 6 themes reflecting rationales for missed appointments: travel difficulty, forgetting the appointment, competing demands, scheduling difficulty, knowledge not new or useful, and lack of provider support. Analysis of 349 returned surveys indicated past attendance history, health status, and participation in the referral and scheduling process correlated to appointment attendance (P < .05). Regression analysis substantiated the importance of social support (P < .05).

      Conclusions and Implications

      Veterans Health Administration patients should participate in the referral and scheduling process. Social support, perceived health status, and past attendance history are important considerations for patient and provider to address.

      Key Words

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