Glaucoma knowledge scores are low among veterans with glaucoma irrespective of disease severity, according to research published in Ophthalmology Glaucoma. The report suggests that a multi-faceted intervention that includes education, suggestions, and reminders may improve medication adherence among these patients.
The cross-sectional investigation included 200 patients (mean age, 68 years; 94% men; 72% Black) from the Improve Glaucoma Medication Adherence (MAGIC; Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT03052257) study. All participants were veterans with medically treated open-angle glaucoma from a single Veterans Affairs eye clinic who self-reported poor medication adherence.
The participants completed glaucoma knowledge assessment via the 10-question National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) Eye-Q Test. Glaucoma severity was determined by visual field and categorized as mild (optic nerve abnormalities without visual field abnormalities), moderate (optic nerve abnormalities with visual field deficits in 1 hemifield and not within 5 degrees of fixation), or severe (optic nerve abnormalities and deficits in both hemifields and loss within 5 degrees of fixation in at least 1 hemifield).
A majority of participants reported having a glaucoma diagnosis for 5 years or more. Glaucoma severity was mild in 53 (27%), moderate in 56 (28%), severe in 74 (37%), and undetermined in 17 (9%) patients.
Overall, NEHEP Eye-Q scores were low across all disease severity levels. Based on a 10-point scale, the mean [SD] NEHEP Eye-Q scores were 6.06 [1.57] for mild, 6.21 [1.47] for moderate, 6.28 [1.82] for severe, and 5.88 [1.93] for the undetermined stage, revealing no association between NEHEP scores and glaucoma severity (P =.78), according to the report.
“Glaucoma knowledge scores using the NEHEP Eye-Q quiz were low regardless of disease severity, suggesting that patients at all stages of glaucoma may benefit from educational programs,” according to the researchers. “The MAGIC study, the parent study of this sub-study, showed that a multi-faceted intervention including education, management suggestions, and reminders improved medication adherence.”
Study limitations include a single center design, an overrepresentation of men in the study sample, and the exclusion of non veterans.
Robinson CG, Schempf T, Williams AM, et al. Glaucoma knowledge and disease severity in a veteran population: the medication adherence in glaucoma to improve care (MAGIC) study. Ophthalmol Glaucoma. Published online November 15, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.ogla.2022.11.001