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T Uhler, M Kesen, J Henderer, W Steinmann; Glaucoma Screening at Community Senior Centers: Follow-up Assessment . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3327.
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Purpose: To determine the rate of follow-up for glaucoma suspects identified in a community glaucoma screening program. Methods: Three hundred ninety-four, free glaucoma screenings were performed at Philadelphia Corporation for Aging community senior centers from March 2000 through November 2001. Review of the screening records identified forty-two patients whose exam indicated a new diagnosis of either glaucoma or glaucoma suspect and who were therefore referred for further evaluation. Telephone interviews were conducted to assess whether these patients had completed a follow-up eye exam. If no exam was completed, interviewees were queried as to why. Results: Only twenty-three patients (55%) were able to be contacted and interviewed by telephone. The rest could not be contacted despite multiple attempts. Ten (24%) did not remember participating in the screening. Of the thirteen patients who recalled participating, ten (77%) reported that they did have a definitive eye exam as recommended. Two of the three patients who did not have a follow-up exam reported that they did not because of fear of cost. The third reported not believing that the problem was serious. Conclusion: Less than one-fourth of community identified glaucoma suspects were know to have received subsequent evalaution for glaucoma. Overall, follow-up is poor, and the value may be limited for such programs if this is the "usual" expected rate of turnout. Other measures are needed in similar populations to facilitate follow-up if these programs are to be effective.
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