Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted medical care. The purpose of this analysis was to determine the impact of the pandemic on gynecologic cancer appointment adherence.
Methods All appointments scheduled at an academic gynecologic oncology center from March 2019 to January 2021 were included. Appointments were stratified into two groups - pre-pandemic (March ‘19 to January ‘20) and pandemic (March ‘20 to January ‘21). Appointments were determined ‘missed’ if the patient did not show or cancelled. A multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine the odds ratio (OR) of appointment adherence during the pandemic.
Results 31,803 appointments were scheduled during the study period (15,834 (49.8%) pre-pandemic and 15,969 (50.2%) during the pandemic). There were significantly more appointments missed during the pandemic than pre-pandemic - 7266 (45.5%) vs. 6131 (38.7%); p<.0001. The adjusted odds of missing an appointment were significantly higher during the pandemic (OR 1.43 [95% CI 1.36 to 1.51]; p<0.0001). There were more return visits missed during the pandemic than before - 6696 (47.0%) vs 5341 (39.5%); p<0.0001. New-patient visit adherence was unchanged. Race, ethnicity, and income were not associated with missed appointments.
Conclusions There were increased odds of missing an appointment during the pandemic than during the year prior. This association was mostly explained by return visits as new patient visit adherence was not impacted by the pandemic. Initiatives should be undertaken to determine the effects of pandemic-induced appointment nonadherence.
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