• Written By:
    Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus

    Researchers assessed whether amblyopia affects self-perception in young children and correlates with defects in vision and fine motor skills.

    Study design

    This cross-sectional study was conducted at a pediatric vision laboratory between January 2016 and May 2018. The study included children aged 3 to 7 years who had amblyopia (n=60), who never had amblyopia but were treated for strabismus, anisometropia or both (n=30) or were healthy controls (n=20). Investigators used the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children to assess self-perception and the Manual Dexterity and Aiming and Catching scales of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children to evaluate fine motor skills.

    Outcomes

    Children with amblyopia had significantly lower mean peer acceptance (2.74 vs. 3.11) and physical competence (2.86 vs. 3.43) scores compared with control children; individuals treated for strabismus or anisometropia, but who never had amblyopia, also had lower physical competence scores (2.89 vs. 3.43). Self-perception of physical competence in amblyopic children correlated with the ability to catch (r=0.43; P=0.01) and stereoacuity (r=-0.39; P=0.02).  

    Limitations

    The title of the study may be misleading because the study does not demonstrate a direct causal relationship between amblyopia and deficits in peer acceptance and physical competence. The findings show that even patients who underwent vision treatment, but were not diagnosed with amblyopia, suffered the same defect. It may be more accurate to say that children who received visual rehabilitation or were treated for strabismus may suffer deficit in social acceptance or fine motor skills.

    Clinical significance

    This study suggests that altered visual development in children may promote low self-perception of peer acceptance and problems with physical competence that may ultimately affect their everyday life.