(HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of patients are nonadherent to glaucoma medication, but a telecommunication intervention can improve adherence, according to two studies published in the July issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.
Michael V. Boland, MD, PhD, from the Wilmer Eye Institute at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study to examine adherence with once-daily glaucoma medication using an electronic monitor. Of the 407 patients who successfully completed a three-month adherence assessment, the researchers found that 82.8% were deemed adherent and took their medication correctly on at least 75% of days. The 70 nonadherent participants were slightly younger, were more likely to be of African descent, took medications for a shorter time, had a lower level of educational attainment, and had worse mental status and depression scale scores, compared with the adherent group.
In a second study, Boland and colleagues examined whether an automated telecommunication-based intervention could improve glaucoma medication adherence. Seventy nonadherent participants were randomized to intervention (38 patients) and control groups. Patients in the intervention group received daily text or voice messages reminding them to take their medication. The researchers found that the median adherence rate increased from 53–64% in the intervention group (P<0.05). No statistical change was seen in the participants in the control group.
“Automated telecommunication-based reminders linked to data in a personal health record improved adherence with once-daily glaucoma medications,” Boland and colleagues write in the second study.
Both studies were supported by a grant from the Microsoft Be Well Fund.