Within-Trial Cost-Effectiveness of an Adherence-Enhancing Educational Intervention for Glaucoma.



To assess the within-trial cost-effectiveness of a behavioral intervention to improve glaucoma medication adherence.


Prospective cost-effectiveness analysis of randomized, controlled trial data.


The study setting was a Veterans Affairs (VA) eye clinic. The patient population comprised veterans with medically treated glaucoma and self-reported poor adherence. Participants were randomized to a personalized educational session with a reminder bottle to promote medication adherence or to a control session on general eye health. Costs were assessed from the perspective of the VA payor at 6 months using the VA Managerial Cost Accounting System. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted using bootstrapped samples. The main outcome measures were the proportion of participants attaining ≥80% adherence as measured by electronic monitor, total intervention and medical resource costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios comparing intervention to control at 6 months.


Of 200 randomized participants, 95 of 100 assigned to the intervention and 97 of 100 assigned to the control had adherence outcomes at 6 months, and the proportion of adherent patients was higher in the intervention group compared to control (0.78 vs 0.40, P < .0001). All participants had costs at 6 months. The total cost at 6 months was $1,149,600 in the intervention group (n = 100) compared to $1,298,700 in the control group (n = 100). Thus, in a hypothetical cohort of 100 patients, the intervention was associated with cost savings (-$149,100) and resulted in 38 additional patients achieving medication adherence.


An adherence-enhancing behavioral intervention was effective and cost saving at 6 months.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Williams, Andrew M, Christos Theophanous, Kelly W Muir, Jullia A Rosdahl, Sandra Woolson, Maren Olsen, Hayden B Bosworth, Anna Hung, et al. (2022). Within-Trial Cost-Effectiveness of an Adherence-Enhancing Educational Intervention for Glaucoma. American journal of ophthalmology, 244. pp. 216–227. 10.1016/j.ajo.2022.08.011 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29619.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Kelly Walton Muir

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Kelly W. Muir, MD, specializes in the medical and surgical management of glaucoma, cataracts and general eye disease. Her research focuses on optimizing the quality of care that glaucoma patients receive by improving patient education materials, studying patient and physician communication, and developing a novel eye drop bottle that makes it easier for patients to administer their glaucoma drops.  Her research has been funded by the American Glaucoma Society, the National Eye Institute, and the Veterans Health Administration. Dr. Muir also teaches medical students, residents, and fellows about glaucoma and other ophthalmologic conditions. Dr. Muir is fellowship-trained, board-certified and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Glaucoma Society.


Jullia Ann Rosdahl

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

I am a glaucoma specialist at the Duke Eye Center.
My passions are teaching, caring for patients and doctors, and saving retinal ganglion cells.
My research interests include patient education and adherence, medical and surgical education, OCT imaging for glaucoma, and physician wellness.


Maren Karine Olsen

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Health services research, longitudinal data methods, missing data methods


Hayden Barry Bosworth

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Bosworth is a health services researcher and Deputy Director of the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT)  at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also Vice Chair of Education and Professor of Population Health Sciences. He is also a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing at Duke University Medical Center and Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests comprise three overarching areas of research: 1) clinical research that provides knowledge for improving patients’ treatment adherence and self-management in chronic care; 2) translation research to improve access to quality of care; and 3) eliminate health care disparities. 

Dr. Bosworth is the recipient of an American Heart Association established investigator award, the 2013 VA Undersecretary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research (The annual award is the highest honor for VA health services researchers), and a VA Senior Career Scientist Award. In terms of self-management, Dr. Bosworth has expertise developing interventions to improve health behaviors related to hypertension, coronary artery disease, and depression, and has been developing and implementing tailored patient interventions to reduce the burden of other chronic diseases. These trials focus on motivating individuals to initiate health behaviors and sustaining them long term and use members of the healthcare team, particularly pharmacists and nurses. He has been the Principal Investigator of over 30 trials resulting in over 400 peer reviewed publications and four books. This work has been or is being implemented in multiple arenas including Medicaid of North Carolina, private payers, The United Kingdom National Health System Direct, Kaiser Health care system, and the Veterans Affairs.

Areas of Expertise: Health Behavior, Health Services Research, Implementation Science, Health Measurement, and Health Policy


Anna Hung

Assistant Professor in Population Health Sciences

Anna Hung, PharmD, PhD, MS is a pharmacist and health services researcher interested in payer and patient decision making related to pharmacy benefits. Previously, she collaborated with the Defense Health Agency to evaluate the budgetary impact of their antidiabetic drug formulary changes. She has also worked with a variety of managed care organizations to assess their drug utilization and clinical management programs. Her methodological research interests include health care cost evaluations, quasi-experimental study designs, and stated preference research.

Dr. Hung received her Doctor of Pharmacy, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Maryland. Her PhD is in pharmaceutical health services research, with concentrations in pharmacoeconomics, comparative effectiveness research, and patient-centered outcomes research. Prior to joining the Department of Population Health Sciences, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Duke Clinical Research Institute and served as Co-Chief Fellow.

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