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Liliya Golas, Catherine Marando, Leonard Seibold, Mina B Pantcheva, Pradeep Y Ramulu, Malik Y Kahook, Jeffrey R. SooHoo; Glaucoma treatments, patient perspectives and preferences. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):3703. doi: https://doi.org/.
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The efficacy of topical medications to treat glaucoma is dependent on adherence to prescribed regimens. New treatment modalities that seek to treat glaucoma yet require less adherence from patients are in development. As part of our program evaluation study, we surveyed patients to elucidate patients’ preferences for treatment of their glaucoma.
A survey inquiring about patient preferences for glaucoma treatments was administered in our clinic. Eligibility criteria included current use of glaucoma drops for at least one week prior to survey administration, age between 18-100 years, and willingness to answer the questionnaire. Exclusion criteria included mental or physical disability precluding questionnaire administration, a language barrier in the absence of a translator, a lack of time to complete the survey, and a lack of patient desire to participate. In total, 126 patients completed the survey.
Of the surveyed patients, the majority expressed a desire to continue topical medications when presented with theoretical alternative therapies. The least preferred treatments were an invasive surgical procedure and an intraocular injection of medication. A replaceable punctal implant was the preferred sustained drug delivery method compared to a surgically implanted permanent refillable implant implanted in or on the eye. Patients were asked to rank treatment options from 1 to 4, with 1 being the most desirable (Figure 1). Of note, the patients that chose a punctal implant over topical medications were more likely to be using more than one topical glaucoma medication. Patients cited a fear of potential risks and complications as factors that would deter them from switching from their current topical medications to one of the presented alternatives.
The majority of glaucoma patients surveyed expressed a desire to continue with their current treatment regimen using topical medications. As new treatment options become available, further study will be needed to identify potential barriers to patients' willingness to switch from using topical therapies.
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