Phone calls, customized materials of limited value for glaucoma medication adherence

June 13, 2012

The use of telephone calls and customized printed materials may be of limited value in improving medication adherence in patients with glaucoma, according to results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial published online by the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Philadelphia-The use of telephone calls and customized printed materials may be of limited value in improving medication adherence in patients with glaucoma, according to results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial published online by the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and colleagues enrolled 312 patients with glaucoma in the trial at two eye clinics at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a large public hospital. The patients (average age: nearly 63 years) were considered to be nonadherent because they did not take their medication, refill their prescriptions, and/or keep their medical appointments.

The treatment group received automated, interactive telephone calls and tailored printed materials, whereas the control group received usual care, which included the recommendation for medical appointments and prescription refills. Researchers measured adherence to medication-taking, prescription-refilling, and appointment-keeping based on interviews, medical charts, and other data.

“A statistically significant increase for all adherence measures was noted in both the treatment group and the control group in the I-SIGHT (Interactive Study to Increase Glaucoma Adherence to Treatment) trial. The treatment group had greater improvements in adherence in four of six categories, but this did not reach statistical significance,” the authors commented.

Researchers suggest that “motivated patients” in an ongoing clinical trial might improve their adherence to treatment even without customized messages for encouragement.

“New technologies, such as interactive voice recognition and electronic reminder devices, may play a supportive role in the effort to improve adherence in patients with glaucoma, but further study is warranted,” the authors concluded.

For more articles in this issue of Ophthalmology Times eReport, click here.