Despite the importance of dry eye disease (DED) treatment, the rate of DED treatment discontinuation, especially discontinuation of ophthalmic follow-up, remains unknown. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and risk factors of ophthalmic follow-up discontinuation for DED. A cross-sectional survey of 1030 participants was conducted using a self-administered web-survey instrument. We collected lifestyle information, history of DED diagnosis, types of treatment, frequency of eye-drop usage, symptoms, and the reasons for discontinuing treatment. Statistical analyses including logistic regression were used to evaluate the risk factors of discontinuing ophthalmic follow-up for DED. A past history of clinical DED diagnosis was reported by 155 (15.0%) subjects. Of those, 130 had persistent DED, and 88 (67.7%) of the subjects reported discontinuation of ophthalmic follow-up for DED. The most prevalent reasons for ophthalmic follow-up discontinuation were time restrictions, followed by dissatisfaction with the DED treatment. Duration after DED diagnosis was the only significant risk factor for discontinuing ophthalmic follow-up after adjusting for age and sex (odds ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-1.17, p = 0.009). In conclusion, longer DED duration after diagnosis was a significant risk factor for discontinuing ophthalmic follow-up for DED. This study showed that DED ophthalmic follow-up discontinuation involves both medical and non-medical reasons. Clinicians need to be aware of them, and preventative effort is needed to avoid discontinuation.
Keywords: dry eye disease; epidemiology; ophthalmic follow-up discontinuation; web-based survey.