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Assessing the adherence behavior of glaucoma patients to topical eye drops

Authors Welge-Lussen U, Weise S, Yu A

Received 25 June 2014

Accepted for publication 4 October 2014

Published 18 December 2014 Volume 2015:9 Pages 17—23


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Ulrich Welge-Lussen,1 Stefanie Weise,2 Alice L Yu3

1Department of Ophthalmology, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany; 2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; 3Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany

Purpose: The goal of this study was to determine the adherence of glaucoma patients to their topical glaucoma medication. Furthermore, the relationships between the adherence behavior and the patients’ demographic data, clinical characteristics, and their knowledge about glaucoma were evaluated.
Methods: This was a prospective study of 123 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma who were given two standardized questionnaires. The first questionnaire at time point T1 comprised a knowledge assessment and the self-reported adherence measures Adherence to Refills and Medication Scale 2 (ARMS2), visual analogue scale for adherence (VAS-AD), and missed doses in the past 14 days. Two months later at time point T2, a second questionnaire reevaluated the adherence measures ARMS2, VAS-AD, and missed doses in the past 14 days.
Results: There was a good correlation among all the three adherence measures at T1 and T2. The mean values of ARMS2 were in the lower range, with 3.38 at T1 and 2.8 at T2. The VAS-AD detected that 18.5% of patients always took their eye drops correctly, and 77.9% of patients reported not to have missed a single dose in the past 14 days. There was no significant correlation between the patients’ demographic data or knowledge about glaucoma and the adherence measures ARMS2 or VAS-AD. Among the clinical characteristics, only single-eye blindness showed a significant correlation with VAS-AD.
Conclusion: In this study, no general relationships were found between medication adherence and the patients’ demographic data, clinical characteristics, or knowledge about glaucoma. It may be assumed that more individualized strategies are required to optimize adherence behavior.

Keywords: adherence, eye drops, glaucoma, medication

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