Objective: To determine if large angle esotropia and exotropia could impact a person's ability to obtain employment.
Design: Laboratory experiment.
Participants: Seventy-nine respondents unaware of the purpose of the study.
Methods: Photographs of two men and two women were digitally altered to create photographs of the same individual in an orthotropic, esotropic, and exotropic state. The photographs were then randomly affixed to similarly qualified job resumes. The 79 study respondents, unaware of the purpose of the study, were asked to (1) rate each individual applicant on selected job qualification variables, and (2) rank the applicants against each other in order of hiring preference.
Main outcome measures: Individual applicant rating and hiring preference scores.
Results: Women with normal ocular alignment received greater hiring preference scores than did strabismic women (P = 0.007). No difference in hiring preference scores was noted between strabismic and non-strabismic male applicants (P = 0.47).
Conclusions: Large angle horizontal strabismus appeared to be vocationally significant for female applicants, reducing a strabismic female applicant's ability to obtain employment. The presence of strabismus did not appear to influence hiring decisions of male applicants.