The pediatric clinic of the State College of Optometry/University Optometric Center develops a yearly quality management plan to monitor patient care. One of the areas retrospectively reviewed for all outcomes is refractive amblyopia.
A retrospective review of records was performed on patients diagnosed with refractive amblyopia. With the use of a prescribed protocol, each patient's progress was tracked for a period of 6 months. Major emphasis was placed on outcome as related to treatment modality. Treatment alternatives were optical correction alone, optical correction in conjunction with patching, and optical correction and patching with vision therapy.
Improvement criteria included a 2-line increase in visual acuity on the Snellen chart and an increase of 20 seconds of arc of stereopsis, as measured by the Wirt circles. The groups that patched with correction and those that received vision therapy had similar visual acuity improvement's; however, the latter group had a significantly greater improvement in stereopsis. Both groups performed significantly better in both categories when compared to the group receiving optical correction alone.
Though patching alone may be sufficient for improvement of visual acuity, binocular performance is significantly better when vision therapy is included in the treatment regimen.