Adherence and persistence with chronic therapies is crucial to prevent disease progression, such as in glaucoma. Patients report high rates of adherence, which are not supported by pharmacy claims analysis. This article reviews the literature regarding methods to assess adherence and persistence and the patient behaviors that pose challenges to proper treatment. Rates for persistence are generally below 50% at 1 year. Differentiating efficacy of eyedrops from lack of adherence presently confounds ophthalmic treatment. Additionally, as intraocular pressure (IOP) can appear controlled by short-term adherence, the physician can be fooled into believing the patient's glaucoma is well-controlled. Likewise, when progressive worsening is noted despite good IOP control, it can be problematic whether the patient's target pressure needs to be lowered or adherence needs to be improved. White-coat adherence is common, in which patient adherence rises sharply 1 week before the appointment with the physician, then declines rapidly following the appointment. White-coat adherence may make it difficult to assess IOP control over the longer term; cycling behavior with medication use is well-documented. Adherence and persistence rates differ by class of drug, with higher rates associated with prostaglandin use. We review findings from The Glaucoma Adherence and Persistency Study that identified behaviors associated with poor adherence. Greater physician awareness of adherence and persistence issues is necessary in order to help the patient become more adherent.
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"itself, leading to contamination of the bottle after several uses or to injury of the cornea  ; (4) patients often present to health practitioners with a reduced intraocular pressure in conditions such as glaucoma , as they instil the drops prior to the appointment, whereas in those who are not willing to adhere to therapy, glaucoma progresses.  The effects of topical drugs and drug delivery systems on ocular tissue"
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives
The human eye is a unique and intricate structure which has made drug delivery to the eye a formidable undertaking. Anterior-segment eye diseases are ubiquitous, especially among elderly patients, and conventional eye drops, although a first-choice dosage form, are not always an efficient treatment option. The development of novel drug delivery systems for improved treatment is therefore imperative.
In an attempt to circumvent the obstacles presented by the structure of the eye, advanced systems such as ocular mini-tablets have been developed. In this review, a concerted effort has been made to provide a detailed overview of topically administered ocular mini-tablets and other solid devices for drug delivery to the anterior segment of the eye. These mini-tablets have been shown in vitro and in vivo to have significant advantages in comparison with liquid preparations. This is a step toward attaining better patient convenience and compliance, which are critical factors.
Solid ophthalmic dosage forms have several advantages that can contribute to assisting with patient compliance and, ultimately, effective disease treatment. In addition to the challenges associated with topical ocular drug delivery, the shortcomings of conventional eye drops, advantages of mini-tablets, and improvements to date to these systems are discussed. The requirement for further advancements in the ocular field is also emphasized.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
"There is a great deal of research that has investigated factors that affect whether patients instill eye drops as prescribed. Four reviews of the literature report that the cause of nonadherence to glaucoma medication is multifactorial.4,9–11 However, while this research is useful, it is not set in the context of identifying health education needs as a precursor to developing an educational intervention to improve adherence. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: In this study the authors sought both to understand the health education needs of patients with glaucoma, with particular regard to adherence to glaucoma treatment, and to examine these patients' views of group education.
Using a health promotion approach to health education, 27 qualitative interviews with new and established patients receiving glaucoma treatment were conducted. Health promotion is defined as a way of strengthening people's capacities to control and optimize their own health. The interviews were transcribed and were then analyzed thematically
NINE CATEGORIES OF HEALTH EDUCATION NEEDS WERE IDENTIFIED FROM THE TRANSCRIPTS: (1) to understand glaucoma; (2) to understand their diagnosis or understand the difficulties in giving a diagnosis; (3) to understand the implications of eye drops, their side effects, and how to renew the eye drops; (4) to feel confident to put in eye drops; (5) to put the condition into perspective - to know how to manage their risk; (6) to be able to ask questions of clinicians; (7) to be able to navigate the health care system; (8) to understand and be able to manage own adherence behavior; and (9) to know where to access other sources of information. The majority of patients had something positive to say about group education, and about half of the patients said they would attend group education if they were offered the opportunity.
A health promotion approach identified a wide range of patient-centered health education needs regarding adherence to glaucoma treatment. Group education will be attractive to some patients. Clinicians could use the health education needs identified in this study to guide the development of either individual or group-based educational intervention to improve adherence to glaucoma treatment. However, clinicians need to be aware that when developing a group intervention, attention will need to be given to making the education relevant to the circumstances of each patient.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Patient Preference and Adherence
"Ophthalmologists should be aware of the possibility of nonadherence in cases when prescribed topical therapy is not effective. For medications to be effective , patients need to take them (Cramer 2002; Schwartz & Quigley 2008). Especially patients with glaucoma are at risk to become less motivated to use their medication as prescribed and thus may become nonadherent, because of the lack of symptoms in early stages of the disease (DiMatteo et al. 2002; Friedman et al. 2007b). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To study the effect of patient education and the TravAlert(®) -Eyot(®) drop guider on intraocular pressure (IOP) and adherence in patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) or ocular hypertension (OHT) monitored with the TravAlert(®) dosing aid.
Multicentre, randomized, controlled clinical trial among 18 Dutch hospitals. Patients were randomized to one of the four study arms: (1) use of the dosing aid, (2) use of the dosing aid with the drop guider, (3) use of the dosing aid together with patient education or (4) use of the dosing aid and drop guider together with patient education. IOP was recorded at baseline and after 3 and 6 months. Data on adherence generated by the dosing aid were collected and studied at the end of the study.
Mean IOP dropped from 20.3 ± 5.7 mmHg at baseline to 16.3 ± 4.0 mmHg (right eye) after 6 months and from 20.2 ± 5.9 mmHg to 16.4 ± 4.1 mmHg (left eye). The mean adherence rate was 0.91 ± 0.1. IOP and adherence rate were not statistically different between the study arms. Patients with 'drug holidays' had a significantly higher mean IOP after 6 months. Patients who used the drop guider were less adherent. A lower adherence level was also associated with new patients with glaucoma and patients with a lower level of knowledge on glaucoma.
Patient education is especially useful for new patients with glaucoma. The use of a drop guider does not improve adherence. Especially patients with 'drug holidays' are at risk for developing uncontrolled IOP levels.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Acta ophthalmologica