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Eye Care Quality and Accessibility Improvement in the Community (EQUALITY): impact of an eye health education program on patient knowledge about glaucoma and attitudes about eye care

Authors Rhodes L, Huisingh C, McGwin G, Mennemeyer S, Bregantini M, Patel N, Saaddine J, Crews J, Girkin C, Owsley C

Received 20 October 2015

Accepted for publication 8 March 2016

Published 19 May 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 37—48

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PROM.S98686

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Abhishek Kavati

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Robert Howland


Lindsay A Rhodes,1 Carrie E Huisingh,1 Gerald McGwin Jr,1,2 Stephen T Mennemeyer,3 Mary Bregantini,4 Nita Patel,4 Jinan Saaddine,5 John E Crews,5 Christopher A Girkin,1 Cynthia Owsley1

1Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, 2Department of Epidemiology, 3Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 4Prevent Blindness, Chicago, IL, USA; 5Vision Health Initiative, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Purpose: To assess the impact of the education program of the Eye Care Quality and Accessibility Improvement in the Community (EQUALITY) telemedicine program on at-risk patients’ knowledge about glaucoma and attitudes about eye care as well as to assess patient satisfaction with EQUALITY.
Patients and methods: New or existing patients presenting for a comprehensive eye exam (CEE) at one of two retail-based primary eye clinics were enrolled based on ≥1 of the following at-risk criteria for glaucoma: African Americans ≥40 years of age, Whites ≥50 years of age, diabetes, family history of glaucoma, and/or preexisting diagnosis of glaucoma. A total of 651 patients were enrolled. A questionnaire was administered prior to the patients’ CEE and prior to the patients receiving any of the evidence-based eye health education program; a follow-up questionnaire was administered 2–4 weeks later by phone. Baseline and follow-up patient responses regarding knowledge about glaucoma and attitudes about eye care were compared using McNemar’s test. Logistic regression models were used to assess the association of patient-level characteristics with improvement in knowledge and attitudes. Overall patient satisfaction was summarized.
Results: At follow-up, all patient responses in the knowledge and attitude domains significantly improved from baseline (P≤0.01 for all questions). Those who were unemployed (odds ratio =0.63, 95% confidence interval =0.42–0.95, P=0.026) or had lower education (odds ratio =0.55, 95% confidence interval =0.29–1.02, P=0.058) were less likely to improve their knowledge after adjusting for age, sex, race, and prior glaucoma diagnosis. This association was attenuated after further adjustment for other patient-level characteristics. Ninety-eight percent (n=501) of patients reported being likely to have a CEE within the next 2 years, whereas 63% (n=326) had a CEE in the previous 2 years. Patient satisfaction with EQUALITY was high (99%).
Conclusion: Improved knowledge about glaucoma and a high intent to pursue eye care may lead to improved detection of early disease, thus lowering the risk of blindness.

Keywords: patient satisfaction, telemedicine, blindness prevention, patient-related outcome

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