Amblyopia and quality of life: a systematic review

Eye (Lond). 2011 Apr;25(4):403-13. doi: 10.1038/eye.2011.4. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


Amblyopia is a common condition, which can affect up to 5% of the general population. Health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) implications of amblyopia and/or its treatment have been explored in the literature. A systematic literature search was undertaken during the period of 7-14 May 2010 to identify the HRQoL implications of amblyopia and/or its treatment. A total of 35 papers were included in the literature review. The HRQoL implications of amblyopia related specifically to amblyopia treatment, rather than to the condition itself. These included impact on family life, social interactions, difficulties in undertaking daily activities, as well as feelings and behaviour. The identified studies adopted a number of methodologies. The study populations included children with the condition, parents of children with amblyopia, and adults who had undertaken amblyopia treatment as a child. Some studies developed their own measures of HRQoL, and others determined HRQoL through proxy measures. The reported findings of the HRQoL implications are of importance when considering the management of cases of amblyopia. The issues identified in the literature review are discussed with respect to how HRQoL is measured (treatment compliance vs proxy measures), and whether HRQoL is taken from a child's or a parent's perspective. Changing societal views over glasses and occlusion therapy are also discussed. Further research is required to assess the immediate and long-term effects of amblyopia and/or its treatment on HRQoL using a more standardised approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Amblyopia / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Parents / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index