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Alaska Blind Child Discovery

A cooperative, charitable research project to vision screen every preschool Alaskan

ATS-6 (Near or far activities patched)

ABCD History

Pilot Study (Near Activities)
BACKGROUND: To plan a future randomized clinical trial, we conducted a pilot study to determine whether children randomized to near or non-near activities would perform prescribed activities. A secondary aim was to obtain a preliminary estimate of the effect of near versus non-near activities on amblyopic eye visual acuity, when combined with 2 hours of daily patching. METHODS: Sixty-four children, 3 to less than 7 years of age, with anisometropic, strabismic, or combined amblyopia (20/40 to 20/400) were randomly assigned to receive either 2 hours of daily patching with near activities or 2 hours of daily patching without near activities. Parents completed daily calendars for 4 weeks recording the activities performed while patched and received a weekly telephone call in which they were asked to describe the activities performed during the previous 2 hours of patching. Visual acuity was assessed at 4 weeks. RESULTS: The children assigned to near visual activities performed more near activities than those assigned to non-near activities (by calendars, mean 1.6 +/- 0.5 hours versus 0.2 +/- 0.2 hours daily, P < 0.001; by telephone interviews, 1.6 +/- 0.4 hours versus 0.4 +/- 0.5 hours daily, P < 0.001). After 4 weeks of treatment, there was a suggestion of greater improvement in amblyopic eye visual acuity in those assigned to near visual activities (mean 2.6 lines versus 1.6 lines, P = 0.07). The treatment group difference in visual acuity was present for patients with severe amblyopia but not moderate amblyopia. CONCLUSIONS: Children patched and instructed to perform near activities for amblyopia spent more time performing those near activities than children who were instructed to perform non-near activities. Our results suggest that performing near activities while patched may be beneficial in treating amblyopia. Based on our data, a formal randomized amblyopia treatment trial of patching with and without near activities is both feasible and desirable.[1]
1. PEDIG, Holmes JM, Edwards AR, Beck RW, Arnold RW, Johnson DA, Klimek DL, Kraker RT, Lee KA, Lyon DW, et al: A randomized pilot study of near activities versus non-near activities during patching therapy for amblyopia. J Aapos 2005, 9:129-136.

A Randomized Trial of Near Versus Distance Activities While Patching for Amblyopia in Children Aged 3 to Less Than 7 Years. Ophthalmology. 115(11):2071-2078, 2008. PURPOSE: To determine whether performing near activities while patching for amblyopia enhances improvement in visual acuity. DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 425 children, aged 3 to <7 years, with amblyopia (20/40-20/400) that was caused by anisometropia, strabismus, or both, and that persisted after treatment with spectacles. METHODS: Children were randomized to 2 hours of patching per day with near activities or 2 hours of patching per day with distance activities. Instruction sheets describing common near and distance activities were given to the parents. Study visits were scheduled at 2, 5, 8, and 17 weeks. In weeks without a visit, weekly telephone calls were made to the parent to monitor and encourage compliance during the first 8 weeks. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Masked assessment of visual acuity by isolated crowded HOTV optotypes at 8 weeks. RESULTS: At 8 weeks, improvement in amblyopic eye visual acuity averaged 2.6 lines in the distance activities group and 2.5 lines in the near activities group (mean difference in acuity between groups, adjusted for baseline acuity, 0.0 lines 95% confidence interval, -0.3 to 0.3). The 2 groups also appeared statistically similar at the 2-, 5-, and 17-week visits. At the 17-week examination, children with severe amblyopia improved a mean of 3.7 lines with 2 hours of daily patching. CONCLUSIONS: Performing common near activities does not improve visual acuity outcome when treating anisometropic, strabismic, or combined amblyopia with 2 hours of daily patching. Children with severe amblyopia may respond to 2 hours of daily patching. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

ABCD: near or distance activities work with patching and 2 hour patching reasonable start even with severe refractive, strabismus or mixed amblyopia.

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