Objective To determine the efficacy of an automated, interactive, telephone-based health communication intervention for improving glaucoma treatment adherence among patients in 2 hospital-based eye clinics.
Method A total of 312 patients with glaucoma (18-80 years of age) were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial at 2 eye clinics located in hospitals in the southeastern United States. These patients were considered nonadherent because they did not take their medication, refill their medication, and/or keep their appointments. The treatment group received an automated, interactive, tailored, telephone-based health communication intervention and tailored print materials. The control group received usual care.
Main Outcome Measures Adherence with medication taking, prescription refills, and appointment keeping measured by interviews, medical charts, appointment records, and pharmacy data.
Results A statistically significant increase was found for all adherence measures in both the intervention and control groups. Interactive telephone calls and tailored print materials did not significantly improve adherence measures compared with controls.
Conclusions During the study period, patient adherence to glaucoma treatment and appointment keeping improved in both study arms. Participation in the study and interviews may have contributed. Strategies that address individuals' barriers and facilitators may increase the impact of telephone calls, especially for appointment keeping and prescription refills.
Application to Clinical Practice Glaucoma patient care should include reminders about consistent use of medication and the importance of keeping appointments. More frequent, and personalized, telephone contact may be helpful to patients who are known to be nonadherent.
Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00794170