Purpose: To investigate the psychosocial impact of amblyopia therapy on children and their carers.
Method: The study was prospective and incorporated a repeated-measures design. A total of 59 carers were classified into occluded (n=31) or nonoccluded group (n=28). A questionnaire consisting of the Perceived Stress Index (PSI) and the Perceived Psychosocial Questionnaire (PPQ) was used to measure carer's perception of stress and psychosocial well-being of the child respectively prior to and following commencement of treatment. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used to analyse the data.
Results: No significant difference in carer's stress (P>0.05) and child's psychosocial well-being (P>0.05) was observed between occluded and nonoccluded groups. Within occluded group, carer's stress (P>0.05) and child's psychosocial well-being (P>0.05) did not differ significantly before and following commencement of treatment. Within the occluded group, carers felt more negative towards their child following onset of glasses therapy (P<0.01) and became more positive when occlusion was introduced in the subsequent follow-up (P<0.01).
Conclusions: When compared to carers in the nonoccluded group, those with children undergoing occlusion therapy did not experience significantly more stress or perceived their child as exhibiting less psychosocial well-being. Within the occluded group, carers' stress level and child's psychosocial well-being did not significantly change following onset of occlusion therapy. Carers felt temporarily more negative towards the child following onset of treatment with glasses. In this study, there is no evidence to indicate that occlusion therapy has negative psychosocial impact on carers and children alike.