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Review: patient reminder or recall systems improve immunisation rates

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 QUESTION: Are patient reminder or recall systems effective in improving immunisation rates?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, CAB Health Abstracts, and the EPOC register; scanning reference lists of relevant studies and reviews; reviewing abstracts and proceedings from scientific meetings; and contacting study collaborators.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs), controlled before and after studies, or interrupted time series studies published in English that evaluated reminder or recall interventions aimed at reminding patients of immunisation visits that were due (reminder) or overdue (recall).

Data extraction

Data were extracted on patient age (newborn to adult); setting (academic, public health, or private); intervention delivery (letter, postcard, telephone, autodialer, or in person), specificity (generic or personal reminders), and number (1 time or multiple reminders); and vaccination schedule. Study quality was assessed (allocation …

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  • Source of funding: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • For correspondence: Dr J J Vann, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

  • Abstract and commentary also appear in ACP Journal Club.