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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 314817, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/314817
Research Article

Prospective Evaluation of Cases of Discharge against Medical Advice in Abuja, Nigeria

1Department of Surgery, Federal Staff Medical Centre, Abuja, Nigeria
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Staff Medical Centre, Abuja, Nigeria
3Department of Internal Medicine, Federal Staff Medical Centre, Abuja, Nigeria
4Department of Pediatrics, Federal Staff Medical Centre, Abuja, Nigeria
5Department of Radiology, Federal Staff Medical Centre, Abuja, Nigeria

Received 22 August 2014; Accepted 14 February 2015

Academic Editor: Marianna Mazza

Copyright © 2015 Bioku Muftau Jimoh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Discharge against medical advice (DAMA) is a global clinical phenomenon contributing significantly to adverse patients’ outcome. Literatures abound on self-discharges in specific medical subpopulations. However, multidisciplinary studies on this subject in our region are few. Aim. To prospectively evaluate cases of DAMA in a wholesale multidisciplinary perspective at Federal Staff Medical Centre, Abuja, and suggest strategies to reduce it. Patients and Methods. All consecutive patients who DAMA from our medical centre between June 2013 and May 2014 were included in the study. Data harvested from the standard proforma were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 19.0. Results. We recorded an overall DAMA rate of 2.1%. The majority of the patients were paediatric cases (, 44.6%) while closed long bone fractures represented the leading diagnosis (, 24.8%). The most commonly cited reasons for leaving the hospital were financial constraints (, 32.6%) and seeking alternative therapy (, 17.7%). Conclusion. The DAMA rate in our study is comparable to some urban hospitals elsewhere. However, the leading reasons for this phenomenon are unacceptable in the current medical best practice. Thus, strengthening the Health Insurance Scheme, strict control of traditional medical practices, and focused health education are recommended strategies to reduce DAMA.