INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical effectiveness, health related quality of life (HRQoL) and cost effectiveness of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) compared to topical anti-glaucoma medications in step-up treatment of patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).
METHODS: Seventeen POAG patients with suboptimal IOP control despite pre-existing topical medications were subjected to adjunct SLT (50 applications 180 degrees) or second line medical therapy. Current medications were continued, and patients were followed up for 6 months for degree of intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering. HRQoL was assessed using Glaucoma Quality of Life 36-item (GlauQoL-36), Assessment of Quality of Life-7D (AQoL-7D) and Vision related Quality of Life (VisQoL). Costs involved were calculated and compared to the effect (IOP reduction) achieved in each arm.
RESULTS: Ten patients were in the SLT group and 7 in the topical medication (MED) group. Mean baseline intraocular pressure (IOP) was 18.90±3.48mmHg in SLT group and 15.57±2.23mmHg in MED group. Mean reduction of IOP was 4.30±1.64mmHg in SLT group and 2.71±2.56 mmHg in MED group at 6 months which was not statistically significant (p=0.14) between two groups. All the HRQoL questionnaires did not show significant changes in the groups or between groups when compared baseline with 6-month post treatment (p-values ranging from 0.247 to 0.987). For every 1mmHg reduction in IOP, cost involved in MED group (RM53.61) was 165% of the cost involved in SLT group (RM32.56).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study has shown that SLT was as effective clinically and tolerable as topical anti glaucoma medications and was possibly more cost effective in the step-up treatment of patients with POAG at 6 months follow- up.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.