Aim: To determine the adherence to drug therapy of glaucoma patients at the National hospital, Abuja and factors affecting compliance with medical therapy.
Methods: This was a prospective study which was carried out among patients with Primary open angle glaucoma at the Eye clinic of the National Hospital Abuja. All glaucoma patients presenting for the first time in the hospital eye clinic over a one year period with a diagnosis of primary open angle glaucoma were enrolled in the study. Data was obtained using interviewer administered questionnaires. The patients were followed up for a minimum period of 3 months to determine the level of compliance and reasons for default. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15.
Results: Only 110 patients (72.3%) of the 152 glaucoma patients met the inclusion criteria of a minimum follow up of 3 months. The frequency of instillation showed that 63 patients (57.3%) used drops once daily, 46 (41.8%) used drops twice daily and 1 patient (0.9%) used drops thrice daily. Compliance rate in this study was 71.8%. The majority of patients (56.4%) were in compliance grade II. The main reason for missing doses was forgetfulness (64.5%) and the majority of them were in group II. The time of day patients were most likely miss their drugs was at night followed by the morning dose. Patients with mild to moderate visual field defects were more likely to be compliant than those with severe visual field defect (p<0.05). Educational status and occupation were significantly associated with compliance (p<0.01). Those with tertiary level of education were most likely to comply with medical therapy when compared with those with lower levels of education. Those in higher occupational classes were also more likely to comply with medical treatment when compared with those in the lower levels. Patients with higher monthly incomes complied better than patients with lower monthly incomes (p<0.01). Good knowledge was significantly associated with good compliance.
Conclusion: Glaucoma patients attending the Eye Clinic of the National Hospital, Abuja complied better with medical therapy compared with what was reported in previous studies from other parts of Nigeria. Patients who had good knowledge of the disease, glaucoma, complied better than those who had poor knowledge. Furthermore, knowing the name of the disease was significantly associated with good compliance