A study reviewed medical records of patients who underwent cataract extraction with intraocular lens implantation and found that factors such as age, smoking status, insurance type and lengthy travel time are associated with higher risk of missing follow-up appointments. Researchers discussed their findings at ARVO 2019 in Vancouver earlier this year.

After assessing 1,099 cases, the study found that 133 had missed at least one postoperative follow-up visit: three, 29 and 113 cases did not attend their day one, week one and month one appointment, respectively. Also, 14 cases did not attend more than one appointment.

Factors associated with non-adherence included age (those 90 or older and 30 or younger were more likely to skip appointments), being a smoker, having public instead of commercial insurance, a travel time longer than two hours to the hospital, absence of ocular comorbidities and the presence of major mental comorbidities.

Researchers believe that patients’ nonattendance can be associated with risk for non-detection of disease, decreased clinical efficiency, underuse of administrative and clinical resources and revenue loss. Targeted interventions have the capacity to decrease the rate of missed visits in patients that are at high risk for non-adherence, they said in the study.

Moustafa GA, Borkar DS, Eton EA, et al. Predictors of non-adherence to follow-up after cataract surgery: results from the PCIOL Study. ARVO 2019. Abstract 496.