Factors associated with adherence to glaucoma pharmacotherapy in the primary care setting

Orit Cohen Castel, Lital Keinan-Boker, Orna Geyer, Uzi Milmana, Khaled Karkabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Primary open-angle glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Objectives: To identify factors associated with adherence to glaucoma pharmacotherapy in the primary care setting, focusing on physicians' role. Methods: Patients were recruited from primary care clinics and telephone-interviewed using a structured questionnaire that addressed patient-, medication-, environment- and physiciansrelated factors. Patients' data on pharmacy claims were retrieved to calculate the medication possession ratio for measuring adherence. Results: Seven hundred thirty-eight glaucoma patients were interviewed. The multivariate analysis identified eight variables that were associated independently with adherence. Barriers to adherence were found to be low income, believing that 'It makes no difference to my vision whether I take the drops or not' and relying on someone else for drop instillation (exp(B) = 1.91, P = 0.002; exp(B) = 2.61, P < 0.0001; exp(B) = 2.17, P = 0.001, respectively). Older age, having a glaucoma patient among close acquaintances, taking a higher number of drops per day, taking a prostaglandin drug and reporting that the ophthalmologist had discussed the importance of taking eye drops as prescribed, were found to promote adherence (exp(B) = 0.96, P < 0.0001; exp(B) = 0.54, P = 0.014; exp(B) = 0.81, P = 0.001; exp(B) = 0.37, P < 0.0001; exp(B) = 0.60, P = 0.034, respectively). No association was found between the patient's relationship with the family physician and adherence to glaucoma treatment. Conclusion: Adherence to glaucoma pharmacotherapy is associated with patient-related, medicationrelated, physician-related and environmental factors. Ophthalmologists have a significant role in promoting adherence. However, the potential role of family physicians is unfulfilled and unrecognized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: this study was supported by a grant from Clalit Health Services (grant number CLALIT-HPR-21). Ethical approval: Carmel Medical Centre of Clalit Health Services Institutional Review Board (no. CMC 07015416). Conflict of interest: none.


  • Doctor-patient relationship
  • Family physicians
  • Glaucoma
  • Patient adherence
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Factors associated with adherence to glaucoma pharmacotherapy in the primary care setting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this