April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Current Management and Barriers to Treatment for Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration: Perspectives From Patients and Caregivers
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Monica Varano
    Fondazione G.B. Bietti-IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Monica Varano, Bayer HealthCare (F), Bayer HealthCare (R)
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 3876. doi:
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      Monica Varano; Current Management and Barriers to Treatment for Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration: Perspectives From Patients and Caregivers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):3876.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: Wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD), a leading cause of vision loss in older people in the Western world, can be effectively treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections. A global survey of patients and caregivers was conducted to evaluate the current management of wAMD and identify perceived barriers to treatment.

Methods: Patients and caregivers of patients diagnosed with wAMD, who currently or previously had received intravitreal injections to treat their wAMD, were surveyed. The survey was conducted in 9 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and United Kingdom).

Results: 910 patients and 890 caregivers were surveyed. About half (55%) of patients had wAMD in 1 eye and 64% had been receiving anti-VEGF injections for >1 year. Most caregivers surveyed were a child or grandchild of the patient. Most (73%) patients visited a healthcare professional within 1 month of first noticing a change in vision. For those who delayed visiting a healthcare professional, the main reasons were the belief that the symptoms would resolve (41%) and the assumption that it was part of getting older (20%). Following diagnosis, about half (54%) of patients began treatment immediately and a further 37% had an appointment scheduled within 1-3 weeks of diagnosis. Half (52%) of patients reported a temporary improvement or stabilization in vision as a result of their current treatment and 22% reported a return to pre-diagnosis vision or their vision was still improving. Of the 16% of patients who reported having missed a wAMD appointment, the main reasons reported were that their caregiver was unable to take them (26%) and fear of injections (21%). Most patients and caregivers reported a number of obstacles in managing wAMD, including the treatment itself (35% and 39%, respectively), treatment costs (28% and 29%, respectively), and finding the right treatment options (27% and 31%, respectively).

Conclusions: While most patients seek medical assistance promptly for a change in vision, about a quarter of them do not, highlighting a lack of awareness surrounding eye health and the impact of a delayed diagnosis. Most patients and caregivers believe there are a number of obstacles in managing wAMD. Key barriers identified were the treatment itself, finding the right treatment options, and treatment costs.

Keywords: 412 age-related macular degeneration  

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