Longitudinal Impact on Quality of Life for School-aged Children with Amblyopia Treatment: Perspective from Children

Background: To evaluate the longitudinal impact on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during amblyopia treatment for school-aged children from children’s perspective.

Methods: School-aged children prescribed amblyopia treatment for the first time were recruited into the current study. Using a questionnaire, subjects’ HRQOL was assessed before patching treatment, and at 8 weeks and 16 weeks after the commencement of patching treatment. Evaluation of visual function and psychosocial aspect was included in the questionnaire. Visual acuity and demographic data of the subjects were recorded.

Results: Forty-four children, aged 7–12 years, with anisometropic amblyopia were included in the study. Visual acuity in the amblyopic eye improved 1.90 (0.41–3.74) and 3.98 (2.22–5.11) lines at follow-up weeks 8 and 16, respectively. Both the total score and subscales of the questionnaire were reduced at the first follow-up and recovered at the second follow-up. Scores at week 16 were higher than those before treatment in the psychosocial aspect (p = 0.003), and lower in the visual function aspect (p < 0.001), without significant difference in total score (p = 0.207). Visual acuity in the amblyopic eye and psychosocial expectations for treatment were the most important factors that influenced HRQOL during treatment.

Conclusions: From the children’s perspective, the impacts on visual function and psychosocial aspect were significant in the first two months of treatment, and could be adapted during therapy for school-aged children. More attention should be paid to negative effects of treatment on daily life and study at the stage of amblyopia treatment for school-aged children. Meanwhile, necessary precautions should be taken to help reduce the impacts.