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Patient Factors Affect Glaucoma Eyedrop Adherence

Study finds poorer adherence among younger, older, and black patients

WEDNESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Poor adherence to glaucoma eyedrop therapy is associated with various patient factors, including age, race, income, treatment knowledge, and self-reported physical and mental health, according to a study in June issue of Ophthalmology.

David S. Friedman, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed the adherence practices of 196 patients with glaucoma using the Travatan Dosing Aid to administer travoprost. The electronic dosing devices were collected three months into the study, and the usage data were downloaded. Patients taking no more than 75 percent and those taking more than 75 percent of prescribed doses were compared by baseline factors, including demographics, ocular history, glaucoma and treatment knowledge, health beliefs, and drop-taking behaviors.

Researchers found that 87 of the patients took at most 75 percent of the doses. Analysis showed that these patients were more likely to be under 50 years old or 80 years old or older and have a poor understanding of the purpose of the eyedrops. They also were also more likely to be black, to have lower income, and to report less than excellent health and higher levels of depression.

"Those who failed to take more than 75 percent of eyedrop doses were more likely to be African American and to report poor health. Those in the youngest and oldest age groups were less adherent, although this finding was not always statistically significant," the authors conclude. "Further research into the factors driving these associations and into developing predictive models to assist in screening for low adherence are warranted."

Alcon provided support for the study. Several authors reported receiving honoraria or consulting fees from Alcon, Allegan, Ivantis, and Glaucos.

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