Why don't neurosurgery patients return for neuropsychological follow-up? Predictors for voluntary appointment keeping and reasons for cancellation

R. E. Mark, P. L. Klarenbeek, G. J. M. Rutten, M. M. Sitskoorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Neuropsychological follow-up appointments are important for patients who have had intracranial surgery because cognitive deficits are common in this population and prognosis is not always optimistic. Unfortunately some patients cancel or do not show up. The current study attempted to identify predictors of non-attendance in this population. A total of 428 patients recruited over 2 years with a scheduled neuropsychological follow-up appointment after intracranial surgery in the St. Elisabeth Hospital, Tilburg, The Netherlands were included. Demographic, clinical, and other miscellaneous variables were extracted from medical records. Of this total population, 42% were non-attenders. The predictors of non-attendance were as follows: patients who had subdural hematomas and/or malignant tumors (compared to those who had other diagnoses prior to intracranial surgery); those who had been transferred to another hospital (compared to those sent home); those who had been referred for further medical treatment before the appointment; a shorter time interval between discharge and follow-up appointment; and finally, if the patient’s home was further away from the hospital. Patients who undergo intracranial surgery are a very heterogeneous group with different needs. Neuropsychological follow-up after surgery may be important for some patients (the better-functioning and/or those with cognitive complaints) but perhaps not for others (those with more severe prognoses and/or no complaints). We provide suggestions which should increase attendance in those who could benefit from follow-up neuropsychological assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-64
JournalThe Clinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Brain surgery
  • Intracranial surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Follow-up care
  • Scheduled appointments
  • Non-attendance

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