April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Improving Access to Eye Care Among High-Risk Persons for Glaucoma in Philadelphia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa A Hark
    Research, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • L Jay Katz
    Research, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • George L Spaeth
    Research, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Jonathan S Myers
    Research, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Michael Waisbourd
    Research, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Harjeet Sembhi
    Research, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Jeffrey D Henderer
    Ophthalmology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Lisa Hark, None; L Jay Katz, Aerie Pharm (C), Aerie Pharm (F), Alcon (C), Allergan (C), Allergan (F), Bausch & Lomb (C), Bausch & Lomb (F), Glaukos (C), Glaukos (I), Inotek (C), Lumenis (C), Merck (C), Merck (F), Sensimed AG (C), Sucampo (C); George Spaeth, None; Jonathan Myers, Alcon (C), Alcon (F), Allergan (C), Allergan (F), Aquesys (F), Aton Pharma, Inc (C), Diopsys, Inc. (F), Glaukos (F), Haag Streit (C), Inotek (F), Merck (F), Sucampo Pharma Americas (C); Michael Waisbourd, None; Harjeet Sembhi, None; Jeffrey Henderer, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 4269. doi:
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      Lisa A Hark, L Jay Katz, George L Spaeth, Jonathan S Myers, Michael Waisbourd, Harjeet Sembhi, Jeffrey D Henderer; Improving Access to Eye Care Among High-Risk Persons for Glaucoma in Philadelphia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4269.

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

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Wills Eye Glaucoma Research Center, in cooperation with the CDC, is conducting a 2-year demonstration project to implement a community-based intervention to improve detection and follow-up eye care of individuals at high-risk for glaucoma. The project aims to 1) identify adults in underserved communities in Philadelphia most vulnerable to glaucoma (African Americans >age 50 and adults >age 60), 2) provide on-site workshops about glaucoma, 3) perform 2,000 eye exams to detect glaucoma, and 4) provide on-site treatment, follow-up, and referrals in individuals diagnosed with glaucoma, glaucoma suspect, or anatomically narrow angle.


A team of ocular technicians, health educators, and glaucoma specialists conduct exams which include 1) ocular, medical and family history of glaucoma 2) visual acuity 3) pupil exam 4) biomicroscopy of the anterior segment, 5) intraocular pressure 6) gonioscopy 7) undilated optic nerve evaluation by indirect biomicroscopy and 8) visual field testing. A total of 50 community sites, such as senior centers, community centers, housing buildings, and faith-based organizations are partnering with Wills Eye to recruit patients and conduct these exams.


From January 1, 2013 to November 1, 2013, 1098 patients have been examined. Race/ethnicity data: 65% African American, 15% White, 14% Asian, and 5% Hispanic/Latino. Fifty patients (4.6%) have been diagnosed with glaucoma, 249 (22.7%) as glaucoma suspect, 126 (11.5%) with anatomical narrow angle, 71 (6.5%) with existing glaucoma, and 37 (3.4%) with other eye conditions. Individuals diagnosed with glaucoma who require treatment are recommended for selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI), or medication. Eight individuals have completed SLT treatment and 52 have completed LPI treatment at the community site. Eighty percent of patients have scheduled follow-up appointments in the community setting and 75% of those have attended these follow-up appointments.


This project clearly demonstrates how a community-based intervention can improve access, detection, management, treatment, and follow-up eye care of individuals at high-risk for glaucoma. The long-term impact of this CDC-funded project aims to reduce disability, ocular health disparities, and the economic burden from vision loss due to glaucoma.

Keywords: 462 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: outcomes/complications • 466 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: treatment/prevention assessment/controlled clinical trials • 460 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower  

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