Intensity of side effects of topical glaucoma medication and its influence on adherence behavior in patients with glaucoma
Alice L Yu,1 Stefanie Weise,2 Ulrich Welge-Lussen3
1Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, 2Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Cologne, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen, Germany
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the intensity of side effects that patients attribute to their topical glaucoma medication and their relationship to adherence behavior.
Methods: This was a questionnaire-based study of 123 glaucoma patients at a university eye clinic in Erlangen, Germany. An initial questionnaire asked about patient demographic data, the treatment plan, and intensity of side effects, and included Adherence to Refills and Medication Scale 2 (ARMS2) and visual analog scale (VAS-AD) scores. In a follow-up questionnaire, the treatment plan, intensity of side effects, ARMS2, and VAS-AD were reanalyzed.
Results: Most patients reported having few side effects, although only 20% said that they had no symptoms suggestive of side effects at all. The patients showed good adherence behavior on both the ARMS2 and VAS-AD scores, which were stable over time. The intensity of side effects experienced in the previous 7 days did not correlate with adherence scores and had no predictive value for adherence.
Conclusion: This study could not detect any significant influence of the subjectively experienced intensity of side effects on patients’ adherence behavior. However, we believe that a simple and clear treatment plan with few side effects is still preferred by most patients.
Keywords: adherence, side effects, eye drops, glaucoma
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