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M. Babic, M. Moura, K. Zihlmann, R. Susanna, Jr.; Adherence and Disease Perception Among Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5583.
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Adherence to glaucoma medications is a Public Heath problem and an important issue for minimizing peripheral and central vision loss. Our study was undertaken to investigate patient-reported adherence in POAG patients.
Quali-quantitative interview of 102 patients at Glaucoma Service, Ophthalmology Clinic, University of São Paulo, Brazil, was performed in September 2006. An in-depth interview was applied to assess the number of instillations of glaucoma eye drops versus instillated ones, prescribed for POAG treatment. The adherence was measured by the percentage of instillations accomplished in the last 3 days. The relationship between adherence and demographic data was assessed.
Data analysis did not show any positive correlation between age (p=0,1), educational level (p= 0,2), personal income (p=1,0) and adherence. 94% believe that they will become blind without any treatment. Although afraid of negative consequences, 43% of patients declared that consistently or sporadically forget to instillate the eye drops whereas in the last 3 days, 68% of the patients were adherent (100%) to the proposed treatment and 32% presented a mean rate of adherence of 61.2±28.7. There was no significant difference between adherence and patients difficulties or problems to use eye drops (p=0.85). Positive correlation was observed between adhesion and difficulties to remember glaucoma medications (p= 0,02; OR=4,32). Patients satisfied with their knowledge about the treatment presented better adherence (p= 0,03; OR=6,42).
Qualitative data showed that information on disease and treatment is important for adherence, but patients' perception about their disease may also interfere. The knowledge of patients' perception may provide additional information related to glaucoma medication adherence.
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