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J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Oct;18(5):401-9.

Causes of non-compliance with drug regimens in glaucoma patients: a qualitative study.

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Albers School of Business, Seattle University, Seattle, WA, USA.


The purpose of this study was to gain insights into why patients are not compliant with their glaucoma medications. Patients were recruited from lists provided by two ophthalmologists. Each patient had seen a minimum of two ophthalmologists for their glaucoma, and was taking at least two topical medications for glaucoma. Qualitative methodology was utilized, including two focus groups and eleven in-depth interviews in patients' homes. The results showed that forgetfulness was the number one reported reason for non-compliance. Patients did not claim to be non-compliant specifically because of side effects, but they did complain about them. Communication between physicians and patients is a key factor in compliance for glaucoma patients. Specifically, patients would like their physicians to teach them how to instill their eye drops, tell them about new/alternate medications and procedures as they become available, and offer new ways to make their regimen easier. Patients often do not tell their physician if they experience a side effect unless it is intolerable to them, yet they do realize the seriousness of glaucoma, and the consequences of not following their doctor's orders. Finally, while cost was not a reported deterrence to compliance, some patients would prefer less expensive alternatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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