Glaucoma Drop Coaching Improves Patient Compliance

Senior woman applying eye drops
Doctor helps the patient and gives the eye drops
Even patients who were long-term eye drop users reported benefits from clinical guidance.

Patients’ struggles with instilling drops may be part of what influences glaucoma medication noncompliance, making education about this process crucial. However, survey results published in the Journal of Glaucoma show that approximately half of glaucoma patients do not receive proper education on using drops. Most patients reported benefits from instructional coaching. 

The survey included 262 participants with glaucoma at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in March of 2017. All participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire assessing their previous education on eye drop usage and glaucoma, and whether they believed education/demonstrations were useful. Then, they were given a 15- to 30-minute glaucoma health coaching session which they were also asked to rate.. 

The publication shows 48% of participants had received no previous education on glaucoma or its treatment using eye drops, and 92% of those who had previously received education found it very helpful. 

When in need of help, 30% of participants would ask a relative, 26% would not ask anyone, and 16% stated they would call their doctor. Approximately a quarter of respondents sustained injuries while using eye drops. Most (76%) of the participants found the glaucoma health coaching sessions to be very helpful. 

Of those who had never received education, 79% felt additional coaching would be beneficial. 

Glaucoma health coaching could provide the support and guidance to help individuals self-manage,” according to the researchers. 


Taribagil P, Thomas S, Mathew RG. Glaucoma health coaching: A survey of Eye Drop Instillation Education. J Glaucoma. 2021;31(5):351-355. doi:10.1097/ijg.0000000000001933