Objective: This study aimed to identify factors associated with compliance with glaucoma follow-up visits. Design: Computer records of a university residents' eye clinic were reviewed to identify a random sample of all persons who had an examination with International Classification of Disease (ICD) 9 coding (ICD9) for glaucoma suspect or glaucoma during a 2- year period (1991-1993) to undergo telephone interview. Participants: Those who were seen at least every 6 months regardless of earlier return instructions were defined as compliant with follow-up (controls, n = 362). Those who had any lapse between visits of longer than 6 months were defined as noncompliant (cases, n = 362). Results: Interviews were completed for 196 cases and 242 controls. Noncompliant persons were significantly more likely to be suspects for glaucoma rather than to have definite glaucoma and to be dissatisfied with waiting time in the clinic (29.1% vs. 17.8%, P <0.005) and to state that they did not take their glaucoma medications as prescribed (25.4% vs. 13.4%, P <0.004). They also were less likely to have been prescribed eyedrop medication. A high percentage of both patients and controls knew that glaucoma can lead to blindness (85.2% and 88.4%, respectively). The most common reasons patients gave for not keeping follow- up visits were the perception that their eye problem was 'not serious enough,' the cost of examinations, and that the doctor did not tell them to come back. Conclusion: Compliance with follow-up visits for glaucoma is associated with markers for early disease attempts to improve compliance might focus on improved communication of the seriousness of the disease and improvements in clinic waiting time.
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