Glaucoma Research Foundation

National Glaucoma Research Foundation Survey Reveals Glaucoma Patients’ Experiences and Concerns During COVID-19 Pandemic

Findings from survey of more than 1,000 Americans suggest one-third lacked confidence that their disease was well-managed during early phase of lockdowns.
14-Jul-2020 12:05 PM EDT, by Glaucoma Research Foundation

Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO, July 14, 2020 – Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, announced results from a survey designed to explore glaucoma patients’ experiences and concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns. The survey, conducted among patients in the GRF database and supported by Aerie Pharmaceuticals, is intended to help inform care as the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve and eye care offices adapt to new patient-care requirements. 

A total of 1,051 adult glaucoma patients from 49 states responded to the online National COVID-19 Glaucoma Impact Survey over four days in May 2020. Findings suggest that about one-third of glaucoma patients were not confident that their disease was well-managed during the initial months of the pandemic (36 percent “somewhat confident” or “not confident”). Confidence level was not associated with patients’ age, gender or geography, but was most significantly affected by appointment status. 

Overall, more than half of the patients (53 percent) surveyed said they had to delay and/or cancel a glaucoma appointment during the first months of the pandemic. Patients who had the lowest levels of confidence regarding their glaucoma management were 30 percent more likely to have had an eye care appointment delayed and/or cancelled as compared to patients with higher levels of confidence.

“Glaucoma patients and their eye care professionals have faced particular challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic closures, given the progressive but indolent nature of a disease that can lead to blindness and the fact that tests required to monitor eye pressure or detect disease progression must be performed in person,” said Thomas Brunner, GRF president and CEO. “We hope the findings from this survey provide valuable perspective to eye care professionals regarding their patients’ preferences, concerns and experiences as they are able to re-open their offices and begin advancing glaucoma care.” 

In addition to patients’ confidence in their disease management during the pandemic, the GRF survey assessed patients’ specific disease-management concerns, their experiences and comfort with telemedicine, how the pandemic impacted medication availability and adherence, and patients’ comfort returning to their eye care professionals’ offices. 

Key survey findings related to patients’ experiences during the pandemic include:

  • From among six potential concerns suggested in the survey, patients worried most about:
    • Vision getting worse/losing vision (13 percent “very worried” or “extremely worried”)
    • Not being able to have an appointment with an eye doctor in person (12 percent “very worried” or “extremely worried”)
    • Not being able to have a quality appointment with an eye doctor due to social distancing and face masks (12 percent “very worried” or “extremely worried”)
    • Not having good control of intraocular pressure (10 percent “very worried” or “extremely worried”)
  • Telemedicine was not widely offered or embraced during the first seven weeks of the pandemic lockdowns (i.e., mid-March to early May). Among the 1,051 patients surveyed, just 4 percent were offered telemedicine visits, and fewer than 3 percent accepted. This may be a result of patients’ strong preference for in-person office visits, as well as a lack of technology – either for patients to participate in virtual visits or for physicians to perform specific eyecare tests remotely.
    • Sixty-eight percent of patients say that once offices re-open, they prefer to be seen in person. Just 4 percent prefer a telemedicine visit. The remaining 28 percent said they will only be seen via telemedicine if their eye doctor asks them to consider it.
    • Given a choice between waiting six weeks for an in-person appointment and being seen via telemedicine in two weeks, 87 percent of survey participants preferred to wait for an in-person visit.
  • Respondents’ access to glaucoma medication and adherence to their treatment regimen did not appear to be impacted during this period. Patients maintained their supply of medication by refilling prescriptions early and/or receiving longer prescriptions (e.g., 90-day supply), and did not report rationing. 

“A percentage of patients clearly struggled with the inability to see their eye care professional during the lockdowns, but it is reassuring to know that many of our patients were not overly worried about vision loss during this period and nearly all were able to adhere to their treatment regimens,” said Andrew Iwach, MD, GRF board chair and executive director, Glaucoma Center of San Francisco. “It’s also helpful to have patients’ input regarding the measures we can put in place to maintain or increase their confidence and comfort as we return to more in-person visits. Eye care professionals are making significant changes to keep patients and staff safe, but the survey findings help us understand what may help them feel safe too.” 

Nearly two-thirds of patients who responded to the GRF survey said they are comfortable returning to their eye doctors’ offices (63 percent “somewhat comfortable” or “extremely comfortable”), assuming certain precautions are in place – most importantly face masks and less crowded waiting rooms. Survey respondents are comfortable waiting an average of five weeks after offices re-open to see their physician in person. 

“We are grateful for the opportunity to help GRF and eye care professionals understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted glaucoma patients in this country and how best to serve them as they begin returning to our offices,” said Richard Lewis, M.D., chief medical officer, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, and a practicing glaucoma specialist. “Our support for this survey is part of Aerie’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the physician-patient relationship, which is central to enhancing glaucoma care.”

 

About the National COVID-19 Glaucoma Impact Survey

Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), with support from Aerie Pharmaceuticals, commissioned a national survey of glaucoma patients to assess experiences and concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Outcomes Insights conducted the survey on behalf of GRF between May 7 and May 11, 2020, and a total of 1,051 glaucoma patients completed it. All survey participants were age 18 or older.

 

About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, and vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. Currently there is no cure, and everyone is at risk for developing this blinding disease. It is estimated that by 2040, 111 million people worldwide will have glaucoma.

 

About Glaucoma Research Foundation

Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma. For more than 40 years, Glaucoma Research Foundation has worked to advance sight-saving research and provide essential educational resources for patients. It funds critical research into glaucoma treatment, vision restoration, and a cure for glaucoma. It is also the leading source of information for glaucoma patients and their families. For more information, visit www.glaucoma.org.

 

 

The National COVID-19 Glaucoma Impact Survey was supported by Aerie Pharmaceuticals.

 

 

# # #

 

 

 




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5595
Released: 10-May-2021 3:05 PM EDT
Biomarker detects severe COVID-19 early on
University of Zurich

Most people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop no or only mild symptoms.

Released: 10-May-2021 1:55 PM EDT
O filtro HEPA reduz as partículas respiratórias transportadas pelo ar geradas durante exercícios intensos
Mayo Clinic

Aerossóis respiratórios são um componente comum da respiração e são uma forma comum de vírus respiratórios, como o COVID-19 , se espalharem para outras pessoas e superfícies. Os pesquisadores que realizam testes de esforço físico para pacientes cardíacos na Mayo Clinic descobriram que praticar exercícios em níveis crescentes de esforço aumentava a concentração de aerossol no ambiente ao redor. Eles também descobriram que um filtro de ar particulado de alta eficiência (HEPA) filtrou de forma eficaz os aerossóis e diminuiu o tempo necessário para limpar o ar entre os pacientes.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 12-May-2021 12:05 AM EDT Released to reporters: 10-May-2021 1:15 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 12-May-2021 12:05 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 10-May-2021 1:05 PM EDT
El filtro HEPA reduce las partículas respiratorias transmitidas por el aire que se generan durante el ejercicio intenso
Mayo Clinic

Los aerosoles respiratorios son un componente común de la respiración y constituyen una vía común de propagación de virus respiratorios como la COVID-19 a personas y superficies. Los investigadores que realizan pruebas de esfuerzo físico en pacientes con problemas cardíacos en Mayo Clinic hallaron que el ejercicio a niveles mayores de esfuerzo aumentaba la concentración de aerosoles en el entorno circundante. Además, descubrieron que el filtro recogedor de partículas de alta eficiencia (HEPA, por sus siglas en inglés) descartaba de manera eficaz los aerosoles y disminuía el tiempo necesario para purificar el aire entre los pacientes.

Newswise:Video Embedded spray-protocol-increases-delivery-of-antiseptic-to-prevent-covid-19
VIDEO
Released: 10-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Spray protocol increases delivery of antiseptic to prevent COVID-19
South Dakota State University

A trip to visit family in India gave an SDSU researcher a unique opportunity to improve delivery of an antiseptic nasal spray to help prevent COVID-19.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 12-May-2021 5:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 10-May-2021 10:25 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 12-May-2021 5:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 17-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 10-May-2021 8:30 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 17-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 17-May-2021 3:30 PM EDT Released to reporters: 10-May-2021 8:30 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 17-May-2021 3:30 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 19-May-2021 1:30 PM EDT Released to reporters: 10-May-2021 8:30 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 19-May-2021 1:30 PM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 16-May-2021 8:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 10-May-2021 8:30 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 16-May-2021 8:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.


Showing results

110 of 5595

close
1.52408