Objective: To investigate the level of compliance with glaucoma medications in a clinic setting and the factors associated with failed compliance.
Method: This was a prospective study done at the Glaucoma Clinic, University Hospital of the West Indies, between April and June 2005. Consecutive patients in the clinic were administered a questionnaire by the doctor. Statistical analysis was done using cross-tabulations, Chi-square (χ2) tests and odds ratio using SPSS version 11.0.
Results: One hundred glaucoma patients were recruited: 63% were female; 57% of the total group was in the 61−80-year age group. Forty-seven per cent had been attending the glaucoma clinic for over 10 years. Eighty-five per cent knew their diagnosis, although only 22% understood their diagnosis. Patients who did not have a full understanding of glaucoma were more likely to be non-compliant (odds ratio 0.771 (95% CI 0.298, 1.995, p = 0.591)). Females were more likely to be compliant than males (odds ratio was 1.64 (95% CI 0.72, 3.75, p = 0.24)). Patients who were clinic attendees for less than five years duration were less compliant than those attending the glaucoma clinic for 6−10 years. The reasons for reduced compliance were financial in 44%, forgetfulness in 20% and eye-drops being unimportant in 12% of cases. The educational level of patients was not related to compliance.
Conclusion: The level of full compliance was 50% and partial compliance 43%. There was a 7% level of non-compliance. Higher levels of compliance were seen in females, patients who understood their diagnosis and those who had no co-morbid disease.