Studies have been performed regarding patient compliance. I am not surprised that the results have shown compliance is enhanced by effective patient education. The quality of the physician/patient relationship and education of the patient regarding the disease are of tantamount importance. I have been stressing this for years in my practice, and have developed a staff that is able to be both an educator and compassionate partner in the patient’s care.
Behaviors that have been associated with non-compliance include: Denial of the disease, distrust of the physician or staff, preoccupation with lifestyle demands, confusion over dosage, and general forgetfulness.
At this time, since damage from glaucoma cannot be reversed, all efforts of both doctor and patient are directed at maintaining the current level of visual function. For the patient who does not have subjective loss of vision, it is often very difficult for them to understand why they need to take medication.
You would benefit from understanding the management and treatment of your disease. Ask yourself questions about your glaucoma and treatment. Be sure you understand the answers.
Some questions to help get you started are:
1. What is Glaucoma?
2. Why am I using these eye drops? Why don’t they help me see better?
3. What side effects could I experience from my medication?
4. Will I be able to feel it when my pressure is high?
5. If I have glaucoma does that mean that I will eventually go blind?
If you need help getting or understanding the answers, please ask us at your next visit.
My staff and I are very committed to your education, and a building of trust between us. The physician/patient relationship, and staff/patient relationship, is a very important issue to us and your care. We have found that by seeing mostly glaucoma patients, we have become very good at both education and being able to detect subtle communications from the patient indicating their denial or distrust of the current treatment.