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Vision Res. 2019 Jan 23;156:28-38. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2019.01.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Reading ability of children treated for amblyopia.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
2
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
3
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Electronic address: giaschi@mail.ubc.ca.

Abstract

Previous studies have reported compromised reading ability in children with amblyopia. Standardized psychoeducational test norms have not been used; therefore, the practical consequences of poor reading ability, such as eligibility for reading supports at school, have not been assessed. Furthermore, several studies have used atypical reading conditions such as monocular or distant viewing. It is also not clear how amblyopia treatment impacts reading ability. Thus, the goal of this study was to use standardized tests to compare binocular reading performance in children treated for amblyopia to that of a large normative sample, as well as to the types of control groups used in previous studies. Children treated for strabismic or anisometropic amblyopia (N = 14) were compared to children treated for strabismus without amblyopia (N = 12) and to children with healthy vision (N = 39). Visual acuity, stereoacuity, interocular suppression, intellectual functioning, oral single-word reading (TOWRE-2), and oral paragraph reading (GORT-5) were assessed. The control group showed significantly higher single-word reading accuracy than the amblyopia and strabismus groups. However, mean performance for all groups was within the average range of the normative sample. While mean scores were in the average range, six children (four amblyopia, two strabismus) performed below average on the single-word reading task; four of these children also showed below average paragraph reading. Reading scores were not correlated with visual acuity in the patient groups. The results raise the possibility that both strabismus and amblyopia can disrupt reading ability, even following successful treatment, to an extent that might benefit from reading supports at school.

KEYWORDS:

Amblyopia; Psychoeducational tests; Reading; Strabismus

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