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Z. Hoffelt, S. L. Mansberger, S. Fallon, B. Wong, B. Lucas; Predictive Factors for Following Up With an Eye Care Provider in Those at Risk for Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):416.
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The EyeCare America Glaucoma Program (GEP) performs a telephone interview and refers those that qualify to an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist will fill out an outcome form, which indicates whether the patient attained an eye exam, and the results of this eye exam. We are interested in the demographic factors associated with completing an eye exam after a GEP referral.
The GEP collects demographic information (age, gender, ethnicity, insurance status, and region of the United States) during the telephone interview. We used cell frequencies, chi-square analyses, and multivariate logistic regression to compare demographic characteristics in participants completing an eye exam as compared to those who did not complete an eye exam.
Ophthalmologists returned GEP outcome forms for 24% (1514/6343) of participants. We found no difference in gender, age, ethnicity, family history of glaucoma, history of diabetes, or insurance status between those persons with and without outcome forms. Of the 1514 persons with outcome forms, 671 (44.3%) had an eye exam, 87 (5.7%) made an appointment but did not show up for the exam, 753 (49.7%) did not make an appointment, and 3 (<1%) persons did not have an eye exam but the reason was not listed. Female gender (p=0.005), lack of health insurance (p<0.001), history of diabetes (p=0.012), positive family history of glaucoma (p<.0.001), younger age (p<0.001), and shorter distance between the ophthalmologist and the GEP participant (p<0.001) were associated with completing an eye exam. A multivariate regression equation showed lack of health insurance, history of diabetes, female gender, and shorter distance significantly associated with completing an eye exam (p<.01).
Multiple factors alter the success of completing an eye exam after a GEP referral, with the only modifiable factor being distance between the ophthalmologist and the GEP participant. Increasing the number of ophthalmologists in low access areas may improve the percentage of persons completing an eye exam.
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