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Adherence to Topical Glaucoma Medication During Hospitalization

Yousuf, Salman J. DO, MS*,†; Jones, Leslie S. MD*

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0b013e3181f4661b
Original Studies

Purpose To describe the patterns and predictors of adherence to topical glaucoma medication during hospitalization for medical disease.

Design Retrospective, nonrandomized, and comparative case-series.

Methods Medical records of all the patients hospitalized with a secondary diagnosis of glaucoma between January 2006 and March 2009 were reviewed. Baseline characteristics of all patients were recorded including sex, ethnicity, age, primary medical diagnosis, and the length of stay. The outpatient topical glaucoma medications known on admission and prescribed at the time of admission were recorded, and the numbers of outpatient and inpatient systemic medications were tracked. Adherence was defined as receiving more than 75% of the expected doses. The patient discharge instructions were also reviewed.

Results Of the 184 patients included, 98 (53%) were female, 102 (55%) were African-American, and the mean age was 78.3 (±11.7) years old. The most common reason for hospitalization was cardiovascular disease and the median length of stay was 9.5 days. Adherence was achieved in 51.6% of patients. Knowing (P<0.01) and prescribing (P<0.01) the complete outpatient regimen upon admission was associated with adherence. Neither class of topical glaucoma medication nor the number of medications was associated with adherence. Doses were most commonly omitted owing to the failure to prescribe (72.3%). Discharge instructions correctly listed the outpatient regimen 54.3% of the time.

Conclusion Adherence to the topical glaucoma medications was suboptimal during hospitalization; this is likely related to the poor reporting of outpatient regimen upon admission. The effect of hospitalization may be a factor to consider in future studies of adherence and when evaluating glaucoma patients after hospitalization.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Howard University Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia

Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Mercy Health System of Southeast Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Leslie S. Jones, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Howard University Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia (e-mail:

Received May 4, 2010

Accepted July 27, 2010

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.