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Clin Ophthalmol. 2015 Oct 22;9:1931-43. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S92935. eCollection 2015.

Health coaching for glaucoma care: a pilot study using mixed methods.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.
Department of Health Philosophy and Promotion, Maryland University of Integrative Health, Laurel, MD, USA.
Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA ; Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.



Adherence to glaucoma medications is essential for successful treatment of the disease but is complex and difficult for many of our patients. Health coaching has been used successfully in the treatment of other chronic diseases. This pilot study explores the use of health coaching for glaucoma care.


A mixed methods study design was used to assess the health coaching intervention for glaucoma patients. The health coaching intervention consisted of four to six health coaching sessions with a certified health coach via telephone. Quantitative measures included demographic and health information, adherence to glaucoma medications (using the visual analog adherence scale and medication event monitoring system), and an exit survey rating the experience. Qualitative measures included a precoaching health questionnaire, notes made by the coach during the intervention, and an exit interview with the subjects at the end of the study.


Four glaucoma patients participated in the study; all derived benefits from the health coaching. Study subjects demonstrated increased glaucoma drop adherence in response to the coaching intervention, in both visual analog scale and medication event monitoring system. Study subjects' qualitative feedback reflected a perceived improvement in both eye and general health self-care. The subjects stated that they would recommend health coaching to friends or family members.


Health coaching was helpful to the glaucoma patients in this study; it has the potential to improve glaucoma care and overall health.


adherence; behavior change; health; medication; motivation

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