PurposePatients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) often require long courses of treatment. We investigate the psychosocial issues that could hinder compliance, including patient expectations of treatment. The aims of this study were to explore the factors related to changes in patient expectations, pain, and anxiety during treatment.Patients and methodsA structured interview was carried out among 50 patients selected from the list attending the AMD unit at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion (PAEP). The interview was based on a questionnaire. Additionally, a visual analogue scale was created as a tool for measuring patient expectations, pain, and anxiety. Data were analysed using multinomial regression analysis.ResultsThere were significantly more patients who had a fall in expectations (P<0.05) during the course of treatment. A fall in expectations was found to be predicted by higher starting expectations (P=0.00001), greater decline in visual acuity (P=0.008), and perceived deterioration of vision after starting treatment (P=0.013). Of the patients, 32% planned to stop attending for further injections. Planning to stop attending was correlated with worse final visual acuity (P=0.026, 95% CI). Pain and anxiety with intravitreal therapy (IVT) was significantly reduced when patients were accompanied to the clinic by a friend or relative (P<0.01) using Pearson's correlation (r=0.597).ConclusionPatients require appropriate counselling at the start of a course of treatment to align expectations with perceived treatment outcomes in order to improve adherence. Additionally, a large minority of patients would consider stopping treatment. Patients' expectations should be assessed at relevant time points along a course of treatment.Eye advance online publication, 8 December 2017; doi:10.1038/eye.2017.271.
- Journal Article