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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul 9. doi: 10.1007/s00417-019-04414-y. [Epub ahead of print]

Treatment compliance and adherence among patients with diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration treated by anti-vascular endothelial growth factor under universal health coverage.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University Innsbruck, Anichstraße 35, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria.
2
Department of Ophthalmology, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
3
Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
4
Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University Innsbruck, Anichstraße 35, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria. claus.zehetner@i-med.ac.at.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To analyze and compare loss to follow-up (LTFU) rates between patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR) and those with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) in patients, receiving treatment with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), under universal health coverage.

METHODS:

We retrospectively analyzed the relevant data of 1264 patients receiving anti-VEGF therapy, in this cohort study. The observation period ranged from September 01, 2015 to December 31, 2018. Intervals between each procedure and the subsequent follow-up examination were measured. Demographic data, visual acuity (VA), the type of transport for treatment access, and distance between the residence and clinic were evaluated as risk factors for LTFU.

RESULTS:

We collected data for 841 patients with nAMD (age, 81.0 (± 8.1 years)) and 423 patients with DR (age, 67.7 (± 12.1 years)). The rate of LTFU, for at least 6 months, was 28.8% and 2.9% for patients with DR and nAMD, respectively (p < 0.001). In the DR group, 18.9% patients were lost to follow-up exceeding > 12 months. Multivariate regression analysis showed that advanced age, lack of mobility, and need for assisted transport, poor final VA despite treatment, and decrease in vision during the observational period were independent risk factors for LTFU exceeding 12 months (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

We found a high long-term LTFU rate for patients with DR, despite treatment under universal health coverage. Considering the risk of disease progression, particularly in patients with chronic DR, strategies for better compliance and adherence to therapy should be considered for optimized patient care.

KEYWORDS:

Age-related macular degeneration; Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor; Compliance; Diabetic retinopathy; Loss to follow-up; Risk factors; Universal health coverage

PMID:
31286206
DOI:
10.1007/s00417-019-04414-y

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