Providing Financial Incentives to Improve Adherence to Referral Eye Care Visits
Glaucoma is a blinding eye disease increasingly common in older adults, particularly in African Americans, and often diagnosed late in the disease course. It is essential to develop novel health care models, utilizing telemedicine, to improve the ability to detect glaucoma at an earlier stage, and to provide a platform to manage this disease in community-based clinics so that further vision loss is prevented. Our goal is to improve the quality and accessibility of glaucoma detection and management among a vulnerable and at-risk segment of our population.
|Condition or Disease||Intervention/Treatment||Phase|
The number of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) cases will increase by 250% by 2050, directly affecting over 7 million lives. These numbers are specifically for POAG and do not include the many who are monitored and treated for elevated intraocular pressure or for glaucoma suspect status, which along with POAG can all be considered glaucoma associated diseases (GAD). Development of high-quality, accessible, and cost-effective strategies for eye care for these individuals is of critical importance. POAG is at least 4-5 times higher in African Americans, progresses more rapidly and appears about 10 years earlier as compared to those of European descent. This research plan seeks to implement and evaluate a telemedicine-based detection and management strategy for GAD and other eye diseases in patients seen at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC's) located in the rural Alabama Black Belt Region. This region is characterized by one of the highest concentrations of African Americans in the US; high poverty, unemployment, and uninsured rates; inadequate educational systems, transportation and community resources; few optometrists who largely practice in retail settings; and no ophthalmologists specializing in glaucoma. The investigators have developed and tested a novel multimodal telemedicine approach in a prior Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded Eye Care Quality and Accessibility Improvement in the Community (EQUALITY) study that used comprehensive remote optic nerve assessment (RONA). This proposal will employ a modification of the EQUALITY approach using portable measurement of visual function and optic nerve and retinal structure that are more applicable to rural locations with limited resources. The investigators will also identify and evaluate remediation strategies for the barriers to patient adherence with referral and follow-up appointments by comparing the effectiveness of financial incentives along with a validated patient education program versus a validated patient education program alone. Using this program within FQHC's will enable expansion nationwide into rural and urban underserved locations as these centers provide primary health care services in underserved areas and treat more than 27 million people yearly at over 12,000 sites.
Arms and Interventions
|Other: No financial incentive|
This group will receive standard of care eye health education alone and no financial incentive for completing a referral visit.
Other: No Financial Incentive
Standard of care eye health education
|Experimental: Financial incentive|
This group will receive a financial incentive once the referral visit is completed (if one was required) as well as eye health education.
Behavioral: Financial Incentive
Patients who are referred for an in-person follow-up exam will receive a financial incentive once the referral visit is completed.
Primary Outcome Measures
- Percentage of participants that adhere to referral appointment [The time frame will be from baseline through 3 years of recruitment in the study.]
The percentage of patients who adhere to attending their referral appointments who received a financial incentive and eye health education will be compared with the percentage of patients who adhere to attending their referral appointments who received standard of care eye health education alone and no financial incentive for completing a referral visit.
African American or Hispanic ≥40 years
Non-Hispanic white ≥50 years
Anyone ≥ 18 years with diabetes
Anyone ≥ 18 years with a glaucoma associated diagnosis
Anyone ≥ 18 years with a family history of glaucoma
All enrollees must be able to speak and understand English
Contacts and Locations
|1||University of Alabama at Birmingham||Birmingham||Alabama||United States||35233|
Sponsors and Collaborators
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Principal Investigator: Lindsay A Rhodes, MD, MSPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Study Documents (Full-Text)None provided.
- Website describing the research program as well as two other research programs funded by the same mechanism.