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AAO: Barriers to Care Among Glaucoma Patients Examined

Long wait times, scheduling problems, and ethnic disparities cited for suboptimal follow-up care

TUESDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Simple clinic management issues, such as long waiting times and difficulty scheduling appointments, were cited as the primary barriers to optimal follow-up care among glaucoma patients, according to research presented at the fourth annual joint meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology, held from Oct. 24 to 27 in San Francisco.

Bradford W. Lee, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, reported on a retrospective case-control study in which 152 glaucoma patients in a county hospital setting, including patients with good and bad follow-up care records, were given an oral questionnaire to determine the barriers to follow-up care, including factors related to ethnicity.

The author found that the most common barriers identified were long waits (75 percent), scheduling difficulties (38 percent), and medical comorbidities (29 percent). Furthermore, language difficulties were reported disproportionately by Latinos (37 percent) and financial barriers by Asians (22 percent).

"Patients view clinic management issues as key barriers to follow-up. Strategies to improve glaucoma follow-up should focus on reducing waiting times and facilitating appointment scheduling," the author concludes.

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