The Support, Educate, Empower (SEE) Program


This study will test whether the Support, Educate, Empower (SEE) personalized Glaucoma Coaching Program improves eye drop medication adherence among glaucoma patients compared to enhanced standard care in a randomized controlled clinical trial. As a secondary outcome, the study will test whether glaucoma related distress decreases among SEE program participants compared to the control group. The study hypothesis is that glaucoma patients with poor adherence who receive motivational-interviewing based counseling and personalized education from a trained non-physician glaucoma coach through the SEE Program will improve their medication adherence compared to glaucoma patients standard care enhanced by additional educational handouts.

Full Title of Study: “Support, Educate, Empower: The SEE Personalized Glaucoma Coaching Trial”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
    • Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: February 2024


  • Behavioral: Personalized Glaucoma Coaching
    • This is a six-month personalized glaucoma coaching program where a coach trained in motivational interviewing (MI)-based counseling uses a web based tool that generates tailored education to help glaucoma patients identify their barriers to optimal medication adherence and explore potential solutions during three in-person coaching sessions. The coach provides between-session support through four phone calls, with two phone calls between the first and second session and one phone call after each subsequent session. Participants can elect to receive any of the following type of alarm when a dose of medication is due: visual or audible alert or automated text or phone call reminder. Glaucoma medication adherence will be monitored electronically for all participants between the baseline visit and the exit visit six months later.
  • Behavioral: Enhanced Standard care
    • Participants will receive non-tailored educational materials about glaucoma from leading sources by mail every 2 months for a total of 3 mailings during the 6-month study period. Glaucoma medication adherence will be monitored electronically for all participants between the baseline visit and the exit visit six months later.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Personalized Glaucoma Coaching
  • Active Comparator: Enhanced standard care

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Mean electronically monitored medication adherence at six months
    • Time Frame: Up to 6 months
    • Medication adherence will be measured objectively using electronic monitors with a bottle-in-bottle technique where all glaucoma medications are placed inside electronic pill bottles. An adherent event is defined as using an eye drop medication within a specified time window of a dose on the previous day. Adherence will be calculated as the proportion of doses taken on time divided by total doses prescribed over the six-month study period. For participants on more than one medication, adherence will be first measured at the medication level and then aggregated to the person level by dividing the total number of doses of all medication(s) taken on time by the total number of doses prescribed. Mean medication adherence will be compared at six months between the intervention and control groups.
  • Proportion of patients that are ≥80% adherent to their glaucoma medications by electronic monitoring will be compared at 6 months between the intervention and control groups.
    • Time Frame: Up to 6 months

Secondary Measures

  • Glaucoma-related Distress
    • Time Frame: 6 months
    • Glaucoma-related Distress will be measured by the Diabetes Distress Scale adapted for glaucoma, a 17-item scale where a higher score indicates a higher distress level. Mean Glaucoma-related Distress will be compared at 6 months between the intervention and control groups.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Taking greater or equal to 1 ocular hypotensive medication with a diagnosis of any kind of glaucoma, suspected glaucoma or ocular hypertension – Did not opt-out from recruitment letter Exclusion Criteria:

  • Do not speak English – Have a diagnosed serious mental illness (for example, Schizophrenia) – Diagnosed cognitive impairment – Do not instill their own eye drops – Had laser or incisional glaucoma surgery within three months of enrollment or scheduled during the six-month study period – Unable to attend all study visits – Active ocular infection or uveitis

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Michigan
  • Collaborator
    • National Eye Institute (NEI)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Paula Anne Newman-Casey, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences – University of Michigan
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Paula Newman-Casey, MD MS, Principal Investigator, University of Michigan
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Phalatha McHaney-Conner, 734-232-8057,

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