Treatment for glaucoma: adherence by the elderly.

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Chi-Square Distribution; Cohort Studies; Demography; Drug Administration Schedule; Female; Glaucoma; Humans; Male; Odds Ratio; Ophthalmic Solutions; Patient Compliance; Regression Analysis; Retrospective Studies; Self Administration


Health Services Research | Medicine and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of nonadherence to treatment for glaucoma among elderly patients. METHODS. This was a retrospective cohort study of 2440 patients older than age 65 who were enrolled in the New Jersey Medicaid Program and who were newly initiated on a topical agent for the treatment of glaucoma. Two patient-specific measures of nonadherence were employed: (1) no filled prescription for any glaucoma medication over a 12-month period after the initiation of therapy and (2) number of days without therapy for glaucoma during this 12-month period. RESULTS. By the first measure, 569 patients (23%) were found to be nonadherent. The mean number of days without therapy during the study year was 112. Factors associated with nonadherence included the use of glaucoma medication requiring more than 2 administrations per day and the presence of multiple other medications in the patient's drug regimen. Patients started on multiple glaucoma medication were more adherent than those started on a single agent. Age and sex were not found to be predictors of nonadherence. CONCLUSIONS. Substantial nonadherence was found to be common in this population. More attention to the issue of nonadherence could result in important benefits in the preservation of sight.


Am J Public Health. 1993 May;83(5):711-6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of public health

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID