Purpose: In an investigation of the psychosocial impact of amblyopia on children, the perceived self-esteem of children who had been treated for amblyopia was compared with that of age-matched controls. The influence of amblyopia condition or treatment factors that may impact self-perception scores was also explored.
Methods: Children with a history of treatment for amblyopia (n = 47; age 9.2 +/- 1.3 years) and age-matched controls (n = 52; age 9.4 +/- 0.5 years) completed a standardized age-appropriate questionnaire based evaluation of perceived self-esteem (Harter Self Perception Profile for Children). Their vision characteristics and treatment regimen were also recorded. Bivariate correlation analysis was used to investigate the amblyopic characteristics and treatment factors that may have influenced self-perception scores in the amblyopic group.
Results: Children treated for amblyopia had significantly lower social acceptance scores than age-matched control children. In other areas related to self-esteem, including scholastic competence, physical appearance, athletic competence, behavioral conduct and global self worth, amblyopic children gave scores similar to those of control children. Within the amblyopic group, a lower social acceptance score was significantly correlated with a history of treatment with patching but not with a history of strabismus or wearing of glasses.
Conclusions: Self-perception of social acceptance was lower in children treated for amblyopia compared with age-matched controls. A reduction in these scores was associated with a history of patching treatment but not with a history of strabismus or spectacle wear.