Automated Text or Voice Messages Help Improve Glaucoma Medication Adherence

Eye dropsMain Point:

An intervention that included text or voice messages appeared to help patients with glaucoma adhere to their eye drop medication.

Published in:

JAMA Ophthalmology


Michael V. Boland, M.D., Ph.D., of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., and colleagues.


The barriers to medication adherence by patients with glaucoma are complex. There is a growing body of work on improving adherence.

How the Study Was Conducted:

The 70 nonadherent patients in the related study that assessed medication adherence were randomized to an intervention (n=38) or to a control group (n=32) where they received no additional intervention. The intervention consisted of daily messages, either text or voice, reminding patients to use their glaucoma medication. A personal health record was used to store lists of patient medications and reminder preferences.


The median adherence rate in the 38 patients in the intervention increased from 53 percent to 64 percent. There was no change in the control group. Patients in the intervention (84 percent) agreed the reminders were helpful and that they would continue to use them outside the study. Implementing the intervention is estimated to cost about $20 per year per patient.


“We found that a telecommunication-based reminder linked to a personal health record can increase adherence with once-daily glaucoma medications. This finding is important because it supports an intervention that is feasible in terms of time and cost for a typical ophthalmology practice.”


Michael V. Boland MD, PhD, Dolly S. Chang MD, PhD, Travis Frazier MD, Ryan Plyler BS, Joan L. Jefferys ScM, David S. Friedman MD, MPH, PhD. Automated Telecommunication-Based Reminders and Adherence With Once-Daily Glaucoma Medication Dosing: The Automated Dosing Reminder Study. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014; 132(7):-. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2014.857

Editor’s Note:

This study was supported by a grant from the Microsoft Be Well Fund. Please see article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Media Advisory:

To contact author Michael V. Boland, M.D., Ph.D., call Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-8665 or email

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