Back to Journals » Clinical Ophthalmology » Volume 4

Feasibility of motivational interviewing delivered by a glaucoma educator to improve medication adherence

Authors Cook PF , Bremer RW, Ayala A, Kahook MY

Published 21 September 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 1091—1101


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Paul F Cook1, Robert W Bremer2, AJ Ayala4, Malik Y Kahook3
1College of Nursing, 2Department of Psychiatry, 3Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO, USA; 4Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute, University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO, USA

Introduction: Adherence to glaucoma treatment is poor, potentially reducing therapeutic effects. A glaucoma educator was trained to use motivational interviewing (MI), a patient-centered counseling style, to improve adherence. This study was designed to evaluate whether MI was feasible in a busy ophthalmology practice.
Methods: Feasibility was assessed using five criteria from the National Institutes of Health Behavior Change consortium: fidelity of intervention components to MI theory; success of the training process; delivery of MI-consistent interventions by the glaucoma educator; patient receipt of the intervention based on enrollment, attrition, and satisfaction; and patient enactment of changes in motivation and adherence over the course of the intervention.
Results: A treatment manual was designed by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in health psychology, public health, and ophthalmology. The glaucoma educator received 6 hours of training including role-play exercises, self-study, and individual supervision. His MI-related knowledge and skills increased following training, and he delivered exclusively MI-consistent interventions in 66% of patient encounters. 86% (12/14) of eligible patients agreed to be randomized into glaucoma educator support or a control condition. All 8 patients assigned to the glaucoma educator completed at least 2 of 6 planned contacts, and 50% (4/8) completed all 6 contacts. Patients assigned to the glaucoma educator improved over time in both motivation and adherence.
Conclusion: The introduction of a glaucoma educator was feasible in a busy ophthalmology practice. Patients improved their adherence while participating in the glaucoma educator program, although this study was not designed to show a causal effect. The use of a glaucoma educator to improve glaucoma patients’ medication adherence may be feasible at other ophthalmology clinics, and can be implemented with a standardized training approach. Pilot data show the intervention can be implemented with fidelity, is acceptable to patients and providers, and has the potential to improve adherence.

Keywords: adherence, counseling, glaucoma, medication, training

Creative Commons License © 2010 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.