Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Ophthalmology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Improving adherence to glaucoma medication: a randomised controlled trial of a patient-centred intervention (The Norwich Adherence Glaucoma Study)

Heidi Cate12*, Debi Bhattacharya2, Allan Clark3, Richard Fordham3, Richard Holland3 and David C Broadway12

Author Affiliations

1 Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, Glaucoma Research Unit, Level 2, West Block, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UY, UK

2 School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

3 Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Ophthalmology 2014, 14:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-14-32

Published: 24 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Improving adherence to ocular hypertension (OH)/glaucoma therapy is highly likely to prevent or reduce progression of optic nerve damage. The present study used a behaviour change counselling intervention to determine whether education and support was beneficial and cost-effective in improving adherence with glaucoma therapy.

Methods

A randomised controlled trial with a 13-month recruitment and 8-month follow-up period was conducted. Patients with OH/glaucoma attending a glaucoma clinic and starting treatment with travoprost were approached. Participants were randomised into two groups and adherence was measured over 8 months, using an electronic monitoring device (Travalert® dosing aid, TDA). The control group received standard clinical care, and the intervention group received a novel glaucoma education and motivational support package using behaviour change counselling. Cost-effectiveness framework analysis was used to estimate any potential cost benefit of improving adherence.

Results

Two hundred and eight patients were recruited (102 intervention, 106 control). No significant difference in mean adherence over the monitoring period was identified with 77.2% (CI, 73.0, 81.4) for the control group and 74.8% (CI, 69.7, 79.9) for the intervention group (p = 0.47). Similarly, there was no significant difference in percentage intraocular pressure reduction; 27.6% (CI, 23.5, 31.7) for the control group and 25.3% (CI, 21.06, 29.54) for the intervention group (p = 0.45). Participants in the intervention group were more satisfied with information about glaucoma medication with a mean score of 14.47/17 (CI, 13.85, 15.0) compared with control group which was 8.51 (CI, 7.72, 9.30). The mean intervention cost per patient was GB£10.35 (<US$16) and not cost-effective.

Conclusions

Adherence with travoprost was high and not further increased by the intervention. Nevertheless, the study demonstrated that provision of information, tailored to the individual, was inexpensive and able to achieve high patient satisfaction with respect to information about glaucoma medication. Measurement of adherence remains problematic since awareness of study participation may cause a change in participant behaviour.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials, ISRCTN89683704.