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Daniel B. Moore, Charlene Walton, Kristy Moeller, Mark Slabaugh, Raghu Mudumbai, Philip Chen; Prevalence Of And Risk Factors For Inadequate Glaucoma Eyedrop Bottle Volume. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):240.
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One barrier to patient compliance with topical glaucoma treatment is an inadequate amount of medication available between scheduled prescription refills. We examined the prevalence of and risk factors for running out of glaucoma eye drops prior to a scheduled refill.
We surveyed consecutive patients using topical glaucoma therapy in both eyes. Patients were seen in glaucoma subspecialty clinics from July 2010 through mid-November 2010. Eligible patients were on a self-administered drop regimen with no recent changes in their therapy. Patients were asked how often they ran out of drops early. Other factors examined included insurance status, visual acuity (VA), visual field data, medical comorbidities and the number of other prescription medications.
217 patients were eligible and chose to participate during the study period. 23 patients (10.6%) reported that they "often" (5-7 times per year), "usually" (8-11 times per year) or "always" ran out of eye drops before one month had passed or before they were able to refill their prescriptions. Significant associations included poor VA in the worse eye of <20/60 (p = 0.004), other eye disease (p = 0.030) and no insurance or Medicaid (p = 0.041). Non-significant factors included patient age, length of drop use, arthritis, number of comorbidities, number of bottles/eyedrops used, and visual field indices.
Our study indicates that the basic issue of having adequate medication available is currently a problem for about 11% of patients. We found that patients with poor visual acuity in the worse eye, other ocular diseases (usually affecting visual acuity), and either medicaid insurance or no insurance coverage were more likely to run out of drops.
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