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Medical management of primary open-angle glaucoma: Best practices associated with enhanced patient compliance and persistency

Authors Kulkarni S, Damji, Buys Y

Published 18 November 2008 Volume 2008:2 Pages 303—313


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Sadhana V Kulkarni1,2, Karim F Damji1,2, Yvonne M Buys3

1University of Ottawa Eye Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 2Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 3Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract: Primary open angle glaucoma is a chronic optic neuropathy often requiring lifelong treatment. Patient compliance, adherence and persistence with therapy play a vital role in improved outcomes by reducing morbidity and the economic consequences that are associated with disease progression. A literature review including searches of The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, PubMed, conference proceedings, and bibliographies of identified articles reveals the enormous public health burden in various populations due to the impact of glaucoma associated visual impairment on the overall quality of life eg, fear of blindness, inability to work in certain occupations, driving restrictions, motor vehicle accidents, falls, and general health status. Providing specific definitions for the frequently misunderstood terms “compliance, persistence and adherence” with reference to medication use is central not only for monitoring patients’ drug dosing histories and clinical outcomes but also for subsequent research. In this review article, a summary of the advantages/disadvantages including cost-effectiveness of various medical approaches to glaucoma treatment, techniques employed for measuring patient compliance and actual patient preferences for therapy are outlined. We conclude by identifying the key barriers to ongoing treatment and suggest some best practices to enhance compliance and persistence.

Keywords: glaucoma, compliance, persistence, medication therapy management

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