Lifestyle counseling for medication adherence in glaucoma

Sandy Kim, Betty Tong, Jessica Lee, Darara Borodge, Karanjit Kooner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Medication adherence in glaucoma patients remains sub-par despite proven benefits of regular administration. The objective was to analyze medication adherence before and after lifestyle counseling in patients with ocular hypertension (OHT) or primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) (mild, moderate, severe). Methods: Prospective cohort study from May to July 2018 at a single academic center. From 391 consecutive records, 247 were excluded based on exclusion criteria with 28 patients not meeting inclusion criteria resulting in the final sample of 116 patients (33 had OHT, 83 had POAG – 28 mild, 39 moderate, 16 severe). Scripted lifestyle counseling focusing on diet, exercise, vitamin intake, stress management, and medication adherence was administered by a team of trained medical students. Primary outcome measure was self-reported medication adherence, defined as not missing an eye drop administration in the past month. A 2–3 week follow-up with scripted telephone survey assessing medication adherence, diet, and exercise was collected. Results: At baseline, in 116 patients, 59.5% were adherent to their medication with a breakdown of 42.4% OHT, 64.3% mild, 66.7% moderate, and 68.7% severe and an increasing trend in medication adherence was found across increasing disease severity (p=0.055). Of the 76 (65.5%) patients reached for follow-up, 17 (22.4%) became adherent following lifestyle counseling (p=0.02) increasing overall adherence to 78.9% from 62.5%. Conclusion: In our study, comprehensive lifestyle counseling succeeded in increasing medication adherence in patients with OHT and POAG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3521-3529
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
StatePublished - 2021


  • Glaucoma
  • Lifestyle counseling
  • Medication adherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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