PURPOSE: To analyze adherence to follow-up over 5 years in patients treated with intravitreal ranibizumab for exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in a tertiary health care center. To investigate factors associated with failure to continue follow-up.
METHODS: Retrospective chart review of all consecutive patients with exudative AMD, who received their first intravitreal ranibizumab injection at the Créteil Intercommunal University Hospital Eye Clinic between October 1, 2006 and March 31, 2007. Patient clinical characteristics at baseline and at the last follow-up visit were recorded. Distance from home to hospital was measured for each patient. A multiple-choice telephone survey was conducted for patients lost to follow-up to determine the main reasons for failure to continue follow-up.
RESULTS: Two hundred and one patients were included. The rate of loss to follow-up over the 5-year period was 57% (115/201). Fifty-eight patients lost to follow-up completed the questionnaire. The main reasons reported by patients for follow-up discontinuation were long distance from home to hospital (51.7%, 30/58), subjective dissatisfaction with the benefits of intravitreal injections (34.5%, 20/58), and the excessive burden of periodic follow-up visits (24.1%, 14/58). Three factors were significantly associated with follow-up discontinuation: high age at baseline (82.2 vs. 76.5 years, P<0.001), poor best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at baseline (42.5 vs. 51.0 letters, P=0.020), and long distance from home to hospital (132 vs. 17.1km, P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: In this study, adherence to follow-up over 5 years was poor. Age and BCVA at baseline and distance from home to hospital were independently associated with long-term adherence.