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Psychosom Med. 1997 May-Jun;59(3):313-7.

Treating myopia with acoustic biofeedback: a prospective study on the evolution of visual acuity and psychological distress.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychiatry, University of Padova, Italy.



The effects of a visual training technique on changes in myopia, visual acuity, and psychological distress were studied in a controlled prospective study.


A group of 33 female students with myopia < or = 3.50 diopters (D) underwent visual training using an acoustic biofeedback technique. A group of 22 female students with myopia and a group of 27 students with emmetropia formed the two control groups, matched for school, age, sex, and refractive error. Manifest and cycloplegic refraction, visual acuity, personality profile (CPI), and psychological distress (SCL-90) were measured at the baseline (T0), at 10 weeks (T1), and after 12 months (T2).


At T2, myopia significantly progressed both in the treated and in the untreated students with myopia. Visual acuity improved only in the treated myopia group (despite refraction objectively being worse). No differences were found among the personality profiles in the three groups. All items indicative of psychological suffering improved in the group treated for myopia whose visual acuity was ameliorated.


The visual training technique led to no improvement in objective measures of visual acuity, but did lead to an improvement in one relatively subjective measure of visual acuity and a parallel improvement in psychological conditions. The students with myopia who were treated consequently had a greater sense of general well-being.

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