Amblyopia treatment outcomes after screening before or at age 3 years: follow up from randomised trial

C Williams, K Northstone, R A Harrad, J M Sparrow, I Harvey, ALSPAC Study Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

143 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of early treatment for amblyopia in children.

DESIGN: Follow up of outcomes of treatment for amblyopia in a randomised controlled trial comparing intensive orthoptic screening at 8, 12, 18, 25, 31, and 37 months (intensive group) with orthoptic screening at 37 months only (control group).

SETTING: Avon, southwest England.

PARTICIPANTS: 3490 children who were part of a birth cohort study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of amblyopia and visual acuity of the worse seeing eye at 7.5 years of age.

RESULTS: Amblyopia at 7.5 years was less prevalent in the intensive group than in the control group (0.6% v 1.8%; P=0.02). Mean visual acuities in the worse seeing eye were better for children who had been treated for amblyopia in the intensive group than for similar children in the control group (0.15 v 0.26 LogMAR units; P<0.001). A higher proportion of the children who were treated for amblyopia had been seen in a hospital eye clinic before 3 years of age in the intensive group than in the control group (48% v 13%; P=0.0002).

CONCLUSIONS: The intensive screening protocol was associated with better acuity in the amblyopic eye and a lower prevalence of amblyopia at 7.5 years of age, in comparison with screening at 37 months only. These data support the hypothesis that early treatment for amblyopia leads to a better outcome than later treatment and may act as a stimulus for research into feasible screening programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1549
JournalBMJ
Volume324
Issue number7353
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2002

Keywords

  • Age Factors
  • Amblyopia
  • Bandages
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • England
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Sensory Deprivation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vision Screening
  • Visual Acuity
  • Clinical Trial
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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  • Cite this

    Williams, C., Northstone, K., Harrad, R. A., Sparrow, J. M., Harvey, I., & ALSPAC Study Team (2002). Amblyopia treatment outcomes after screening before or at age 3 years: follow up from randomised trial. BMJ, 324(7353), 1549.