عنوان مقاله [English]
Background and Aim: National screening program on amblyopia in preschool-aged children is one of the current health programs in Iran. The present study aimed to evaluate the process of visual therapy and its effectiveness in amblyopic children detected in this program.
Materials and Methods: In the current study, all optometric centers in Mashhad city as referral centers in the national program were visited to collect information and documentations regarding children with amblyopia diagnosed in 2012. Informed consent of parents was acquired and then they were interviewed. Also, visual acuity and refractive error of children was measured. From among 168 children with amblyopia diagnosed in 2012, 71 could be accessed through their files.
Results: From among 66 parents who agreed to participate, 58 (88%( had been informed of the importance of early intervention by optometrists, and 57 (87%( had 1 to 4 follow-up visits during the first year after diagnosis and commencement of intervention, through which their visual acuity and refractive error status were documented. However, none were checked for any effect of treatment on daily activities and quality of life. About 63.6% of parents had received counseling from optometrists regarding solving problems of compliance with treatment. About 90% of the files contained no documentation whatsoever on efforts to provide parental awareness, as well as to monitor or guide parents for solving compliance problems. Within a year from the beginning of therapy 66.6% of children completely recovered and 10.6% partially recovered from amblyopia. Visual acuity was not changed in the other children (22.8%)
Discussion: In the absence of guidelines and obligations for documentation of patient information, a considerable portion of children diagnosed to have amblyopia were missed for further follow-up. Designing therapeutic guidelines and frameworks may help increase program coverage, especially in terms of parental awareness and alleviation of compliance problems.