BACKGROUND: In real life, outcomes in wet age related macular degeneration (W-AMD) continue to fall behind the results from randomized controlled trials. The aim of this trial was to assess if outcomes can be improved by an intervention in healthcare organization following recommendations of the Chronic Care Model (CCM).
METHODS: Multi-centered randomized controlled clinical trial. The multifaceted intervention consisted in reorganization of care (delivery by trained chronic care coaches, using reminder systems, performing structured follow-up, empowering patients in self-monitoring and giving decision-support). In the control usual care was continued. Main outcome measures were changes in ETDRS visual acuity, optical coherence tomography (OCT) macular retinal thickness and quality of life (NEI VFQ-25 questionnaire).
RESULTS: 169 consecutive patients in Swiss ophthalmology centers were included. Mean ETDRS baseline visual acuity of eyes with W-AMD was 57.8 (± 18.7). After 12 months, the between-group difference in mean change of ETDRS visual acuity was -4.8 (95%CI: -10.8 to +1.2, p = 0.15); difference in mean change of OCT was +14.0 (95% CI -39.6 to 67.6, p = 0.60); difference in mean change of NEI VFQ-25 composite score mean change was +2.1(95%CI: -1.3 to +5.5, p = 0.19).
CONCLUSIONS: The intervention aiming at improving chronic care was not associated with favorable outcomes within 12 months. Other approaches need to be tested to close the evidence-performance gap in W-AMD.