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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Jul;56(8):4324-31. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16444.

Barriers to Follow-Up and Strategies to Improve Adherence to Appointments for Care of Chronic Eye Diseases.

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Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, California, United States.
Protiviti, New York, New York, United States.
Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California, United States.
Byers Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, United States.



To understand factors associated with poor attendance of follow-up appointments for care of glaucoma (GL), AMD, and diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a tertiary referral center, and to identify strategies to improve adherence.


Cross-sectional study of 240 adults attending follow-up appointments for GL, AMD, or DR. Cases (N = 102) were patients with poor follow-up who missed and failed to reschedule an appointment within 1 month of the recommended follow-up date during the preceding year. Controls (N = 138) were patients who completed the assigned follow-up. Data regarding the factors impacting adherence to appointments were collected via an orally administered questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine factors associated with poor follow-up.


In a multivariate logistic regression model, independent factors significantly associated with poor follow-up included incorrectly answering more than 50% of questions about eye disease (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.24, P = 0.001), legal blindness (adjusted OR 2.64, P = 0.013), the presence of glaucomatous versus retinal disease (adjusted OR 2.06, P = 0.013), and difficulty for the study subject and/or escort taking time away from work for the appointments (adjusted OR 1.80, P = 0.049). Subjects identified the following strategies to improve follow-up: contact with others having the same eye condition (41.3%), greater education regarding eye disease (40.8%), and improved transportation services to the clinic (44.6%).


Low disease knowledge scores, legal blindness, and difficulty getting time away from work for appointments adversely impacted follow-up independent of eye disease diagnosis. Improvements in patient education, transportation services, and clinic efficiency may increase adherence to recommended appointment intervals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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