Objectives To identify predictors of inconsistent attendance at glaucoma follow-up visits in a county hospital population.
Methods Prospective recruitment from August 1, 2008, through January 31, 2009, of 152 individuals with glaucoma, with 1-to-1 matching of patients (those with inconsistent follow-up) and controls (those with consistent follow-up). Data were collected via oral questionnaire. Survey results were correlated with attendance at follow-up examinations, using the t test, χ2 test, and multivariate stepwise logistic regression analysis to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals.
Results After adjusting for covariates in the logistic regression analysis, factors independently associated with inconsistent follow-up included black race (adjusted OR, 7.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.64-31.24), Latino ethnicity (adjusted OR, 4.77; 1.12-20.29), unfamiliarity with necessary treatment duration (adjusted OR, 3.54; 1.26-9.94), lack of knowledge of the permanency of glaucoma-induced vision loss (adjusted OR, 3.09; 1.18-8.04), and perception that it is not important to attend all follow-up visits (adjusted OR, 3.54; 1.26-9.94).
Conclusions Demographic factors, including race and ethnicity, may directly or indirectly affect adherence to recommended glaucoma follow-up visits. Lack of information regarding irreversible vision loss from glaucoma, need for lifelong treatment, and lack of visual symptoms may be significant barriers to follow-up in this population. Targeted glaucoma education by physicians may improve follow-up, thereby decreasing the morbidity associated with glaucomatous disease.