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Fabian S Lerner, Jaime Yankelevich; What do patients know about glaucoma? Effects of education at 1 and 6 months after the program. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):3507.
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To evaluate the knowledge glaucoma patients have about their disease before, and 1 and 6 months after a detailed explanation.
Consecutive patients attending a glaucoma referral practice were invited to participate. Those who accepted were provided with a questionnaire addressing several issues of glaucoma at baseline (B) and after 1 (M1) and 6 monhts (M6) of an explanation of the disease: name of medications used, what are the medications for?; what type of glaucoma do you have?; what is glaucoma: is it a disease caused by high intraocular pressure (IOP)?, a disease of the optic nerve?, a disease of the visual field? (any of these 3 was considered a valid answer), a specific type of eye cancer?, an inflammation of the eye?; what was your IOP in your last visit?; what is considered an average IOP in the general population?; what may happen if glaucoma is left untreated? Demographic questions were also performed
54 patients (29 males) completed the questionnaire. 42.6% completed primary school, 37% secondary school and 20.4% tertiary studies. 11.1% had mild, 37% moderate and 51.9% severe glaucoma (according to the Anderson, Hoddapp and Parrish scale); and 26% had vision in only one eye. At B, M1 and M6 74%, 13.4% and 34.6% (p<.001) of patients did not know the name of their medications and 81%, 21% (p<.001) and 20.4% (p<.005) the type of glaucoma, 61%, 3.8% and 2% (p<.001) did not know what was the purpose of medication, 77.7%, 13.4% and 12.2% (p<.001) did not remember the last IOP value and 66.6%, 23% and 10.4% (p<.001) did not know the mean IOP in the population. However 90.7%, 98% and 93.8% did know the consequences of glaucoma if left untreated. Level of instruction was associated with a better knowledge in every question (p<.001), while severity of damage was associated with worse knowledge (p<.005).
Level of instruction was associated with a better, and severity of damage with a worse knowledge of the disease in this cohort of glaucoma patients. Education programs may be directed to patients with less instruction and worse disease. Although responses were better at M6 compared to B, some regression could be observed at M6 compared to M1. Continuous education may be needed
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