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Anjali Sheth, Wendy Kirkland, Sanna Ronkainen, Carter Kirk, Sasikala Pillai; Impact of Patient Comprehension on Treatment Success in Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):3498.
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To evaluate the impact of patient education on compliance and subsequently treatment success in glaucoma patients.
We formulated a 16 question survey for patients at Washington Hospital Center’s glaucoma clinic.The survey included 15 multiple choice questions and one open ended question.Four questions addressed patient knowledge regarding their disease, four assessed core knowledge regarding glaucoma, five assessed doctor-patient education/communication, and three questions addressed miscellaneous topics.
A total of 92 patients completed the survey and were included in the analysis. In regards to the 4 questions regarding patient knowledge, there was no statistical difference in patients in terms of target IOP in this category as outlined in Table 1. In terms of core glaucoma knowledge (Table 2), 32% of patients believed glaucoma was curable, 13% believed it was reversible and 98% knew that glaucoma can lead to blindness. The highest proportion of patients at target IOP were those that believed glaucoma led to blindness, however this was not statistically significant. Finally, patient education questions (Table 3) revealed that patients that had remembered having glaucoma explained to them were at target IOP compared to those that did not which was found to statistically significant. In addition, statistical significance was demonstrated in patients reaching target IOP where doctors observed instillation of eye drops, as well as, when written schedules for their eye medications were provided.
Our preliminary data shows a significant impact of patient education on compliance and treatment success, highlighting the importance of doctor-patient communication. Our data also demonstrates that the most common reason for noncompliance is forgetfulness; those that received written schedules were more likely to reach target intraocular pressures. Most of our patient population had never been watched and were not on target. This brings to light the importance of ensuring patient understanding of not only their disease, but also of treatment application. With this preliminary data, we hope to emphasize the importance of patient education including witnessing drop administration, creating a visual drop regimen schedule, and informing our patients of the impact of non-compliance on their disease to ultimately help improve compliance and better achieve target intraocular pressure.
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