Prevalence of and Reasons for Patients Leaving Against Medical Advice from Paediatric Wards in Oman

Mohamed Al-Ghafri, Abdullah Al-Bulushi, Ahmed Al-Qasmi


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of and reasons for patients leaving against medical advice (LAMA) in a paediatric setting in Oman. This retrospective study was carried out between January 2007 and December 2009 and assessed patients who left the paediatric wards at the Royal Hospital, Muscat, Oman, against medical advice. Of 11,482 regular discharges, there were 183 cases of LAMA (prevalence: 1.6%). Dissatisfaction with treatment and a desire to seek a second opinion were collectively the most cited reasons for LAMA according to data from the hospital’s electronic system (27.9%) and telephone conversations with patients’ parents (55.0%). No reasons for LAMA were documented in the hospital’s electronic system for 109 patients (59.6%). The low observed prevalence of LAMA suggests good medical practice at the Royal Hospital. This study indicates the need for thorough documentation of all LAMA cases to ensure the availability of high-quality data for healthcare workers involved in preventing LAMA.


Children; Patient Discharge; Documentation; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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