Self-reported glaucoma medication adherence does not reflect electronic health record data

Key Takeaways

  • Glaucoma patients tend to overestimate their level of adherence to medical therapy, according to a study comparing self-reported medication adherence scores with electronic health record, or EHR, system data, which show how often medications are refilled. 
  • The authors note that EHR data could assist physicians in identifying patients who need to be educated to improve adherence.

Glaucoma patients tend to overestimate their level of adherence to medical therapy, according to a study comparing self-reported medication adherence scores with electronic health record, or EHR, system data, which show how often medications are refilled. The study, which was presented in a poster at the 2024 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting, included 201 participants with glaucoma, 185 of which also had EHR data on file. Patients were asked to complete the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-8 (MMAS-8) questionnaire, a standardized tool for evaluating medication adherence. Based on EHR and pharmacy data, EHR-generated medication adherence scores were also extracted.

The mean MMAS-8 score was 7 out of a possible 8, reflecting high self-reported adherence, while the mean EHR score was 58 out of a possible 100, reflecting moderate adherence. “Patients tended to self-report better glaucoma medication adherence than reflected in their medication refill data,” the authors wrote, and noted that EHR data could assist physicians in identifying patients who need to be educated to improve adherence. “As physicians, if we see from the electronic health record that adherence is not as high as it is supposed to be, we could invite the patient to have a conversation,” study author Manreet Brar told Healio/Ocular Surgery News. “They may not be aware of their non-adherence, or may not be willing to self-report it. We can tell them, ‘Let’s find a way to correct this, as you don’t want your disease to get worse.’”

Source: Eamon N. Dreisbach, Healio Ocular Surgery News, May 9, 2024; see source article