Psychosocial impact of amblyopia and its treatment: a multidisciplinary study

Konstandina Koklanis, Larry Abel, Rosalie Aroni

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    To explore the meaning of amblyopia from both parents and children s perspectives and to seek correlations between the experiential aspects of the condition and its treatment, the clinical characteristics of amblyopia and any apparent psychopathology. METHODS: Children with amblyopia and their parents were engaged in semistructured in-depth interviews. Children also underwent a vision assessment and, where applicable, parents and children completed a psychological inventory, the Behaviour Assessment System for Children. RESULTS: Dealing with stigma and the perceptions and responses of peers were found to be of central significance to the experience of amblyopia therapy. This had adverse consequences for some children s identity and psychosocial well-being. The clinical manifestations of amblyopia did not correlate with the social implications of the condition. However, children with strabismus were noted to have significantly greater conduct and externalizing problems. CONCLUSIONS: Given that amblyopia can affect children s psychosocial well-being, health outcomes need to integrate both vision and psychosocial implications of treatment. Although treatment should aim to reverse amblyopia and restore visual acuity, efforts to minimise any negative psychosocial consequences of treatment should be made. A way to balance managing amblyopia and ensuring children s psychosocial well-being should to be considered by clinicians and included in treatment guidelines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)743 - 750
    Number of pages8
    JournalClinical & Experimental Ophthalmology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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