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An audit of the outcome of amblyopia treatment: a retrospective analysis of 322 children
  1. M Awan1,
  2. F A Proudlock1,
  3. D Grosvenor2,
  4. I Choudhuri3,
  5. N Sarvanananthan1,3,
  6. I Gottlob1
  1. 1Ophthalmology Group, University of Leicester, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Ophthalmology Department, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, St Michael, Barbados
  3. 3University Hospitals of Leicester, Department of Ophthalmology, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Irene Gottlob, Ophthalmology Group, University of Leicester, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK; ig15{at}


Background/aims Little is known about the effectiveness of occlusion therapy in hospital settings. A retrospective analysis was conducted to assess modalities, outcome and hospital costs of children treated for amblyopia with patching in a UK clinic.

Methods Notes of 322 children with amblyopia discharged after occlusion treatment were selected consecutively and reviewed. Data collated included age at presentation, amblyopia type, visual acuity (VA; before/after occlusion and at discharge), number of prescribed hours of occlusion, duration of patching treatment, number of glasses prescribed and number of visits attended or failed to attend. Hospital treatment costs were estimated.

Results Mixed amblyopes were prescribed the longest amount of patching (mean 2815 h over 23 months) followed by strabismic (1984 h) and anisometropic (1238 h) amblyopes. 319 amblyopes received glasses and five atropine treatment. The percentage of patients reaching VA of 6/12 was best in the anisometropic and strabismic groups (>75%) and worse in mixed amblyopia (64%). Average hospital costs were estimated at £1365.

Conclusion Although the mean duration of treatment was long, involving many hospital visits, the visual outcome was variable, unsatisfactory (<6/9) and more expensive than necessary. As compliance has been identified as a major problem methods to improve amblyopia treatment are needed, possibly by using educational/motivational intervention.

  • Amblyopia
  • child health (paediatrics)
  • embryology and development
  • National Health Service UK
  • treatment
  • visual acuity outcome
  • visual (cerebral) cortex

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  • Funding This study was supported by the Ulverscroft Foundation.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This audit was registered with the Clinical Audit Standards and Effectiveness (CASE) team, University Hospitals of Leicester.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.