How Medication Adherence Affects Disease Management in Veterans with Glaucoma: Lessons Learned from a Clinical Trial.



We conducted a secondary, real-world clinical assessment of a randomized controlled trial to determine how a glaucoma medication adherence intervention impacted the clinical outcomes of participants at 12 months post-randomization. Participants included veterans at a VA eye clinic with medically treated glaucoma who reported poor adherence and their companions, if applicable.


The treatment group received a glaucoma education session with drop administration instruction and virtual reminders from a "smart bottle" (AdhereTech) for their eye drops. The control group received a general eye health class and the smart bottle with the reminder function turned off. Medical chart extraction determined if participants in each group experienced visual field progression, additional glaucoma medications, or a recommendation for surgery or laser due to inadequate intraocular pressure control over the 12 months following randomization. The main outcome measure was disease progression, defined as visual field progression or escalation of glaucoma therapy, in the 12 months following randomization.


Thirty-six versus 32% of the intervention (n = 100) versus control (n = 100) groups, respectively, experienced disease intensification. There was no difference between the intervention and control groups in terms of intensification (intervention vs. control group odds ratio: 1.20; 95% confidence interval: [0.67, 2.15]), including when age, race, and disease severity were accounted for in the logistic regression model. Those whose study dates included time during the COVID-19 pandemic were evenly distributed between groups.


A multifaceted intervention that improved medication adherence for glaucoma for 6 months did not affect the clinical outcomes measured at 12 months post-randomization. Twelve months may not be long enough to see the clinical effect of this intervention or more than 6 months of intervention are needed.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Buehne, Kristen L, Jullia A Rosdahl, Aaron M Hein, Sandra Woolson, Maren Olsen, Miriam Kirshner, Malina Sexton, Hayden B Bosworth, et al. (2023). How Medication Adherence Affects Disease Management in Veterans with Glaucoma: Lessons Learned from a Clinical Trial. Ophthalmic research, 66(1). pp. 489–495. 10.1159/000528857 Retrieved from

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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

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