Pharmacy Support Can Improve Glaucoma Care
Glaucoma patients often do not adhere to an eye drop regimen. A pilot study examined how community pharmacies can provide clinical support to these patients, specifically whether their individualized support can improve care.
The pilot study was conducted from October-November 2017 and run by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in north-west London. Participating pharmacists received training and briefings. Glaucoma patients (N = 110) picking up medication from the pharmacies (N = 18) were invited to 15-minute consultation, during which they received advice and answered questions. Follow-up questionnaires and consultations were conducted 1 month later.
Results showed that most patients knew little about glaucoma. One patient was also taking the wrong eye drop dose. After the second consultation, the proportion of patients who understood their condition increased from 48% to 98%. Awareness of driving regulations for those with glaucoma also rose from 47% to 75%. At the end of the study, 95% of patients claimed they were satisfied with the consultations.
The researchers are now trying to use the results to demonstrate to commissioners that more pharmacists should be involved in managing glaucoma.