Background Previous reports suggest that adherence to patching is a major issue in amblyopia treatment. We tested with an unmasked randomised controlled clinical trial whether an intense educational/motivational intervention improves adherence when a high-dose regime is prescribed.
Methods 62 children with newly diagnosed amblyopia were randomly allocated into two treatment arms with and without educational/motivational intervention material. Both were prescribed patching 10 h/day, 6 days/week for a fixed period of 12 weeks. The intervention arm received an educational/motivational intervention before patching which included information booklets, video, a cartoon story book, sticker charts and a dedicated session with a researcher. The control arm received the usual clinical information. The primary outcome measure was adherence measured using electronic occlusion dose monitors where a success/failure binary outcome was used to account for participants who dropped out of the study defined as patching >4 h/day. Visual outcome, expressed as percentage visual deficit, was measured as secondary outcome.
Results The intervention increased adherence success rate from 45.2% in the control group to 80.6% in the intervention group (p=0.0027). However, visual outcome was not significantly better in the intervention group (p=0.190).
Conclusions Our study shows that an intense educational/motivational intervention can improve adherence to patching to high prescribed doses although no significant improvement in visual outcome was observed.
Trials registration number: ISRCTN05346737 (International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register).
- Clinical Trial