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Keywords:

  • glaucoma;
  • glaucoma medication;
  • practice pattern;
  • questionnaire;
  • survey

Abstract

Purpose:  To summarize current practice styles and patterns associated with glaucoma management in ophthalmologists of Australia and New Zealand as derived from a survey.

Method:  A questionnaire was sent to all Australian and New Zealand ophthalmologists, which anonymously assessed demographic characteristics and prescribing patterns for each major class of glaucoma medication.

Results:  A total of 761 questionnaires were sent with a response rate of 51%. Of respondents 14% were glaucoma subspecialists. In 69%, the first-line drug-class of choice was a prostaglandin analogue. New Zealand ophthalmologists favoured beta-blockers as their first-line agent because of cost, government restrictions and familiarity. Most respondents stated ‘hypotensive efficacy’ as the most important factor in class choice. Alpha-2-agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and miotics were considered second-line agents, because of side-effects and lack of hypotensive potency.

Conclusions:  The choice of first-line agent for the treatment of glaucoma differed between Australian and New Zealand ophthalmologists, in part as the result of government restriction of prostaglandin-class drugs. Practice patterns seen in Australasia parallel the current evidence base reported in peer-reviewed literature.