Educational Cartoon Improves Ambylopia Treatment Compliance in Children


Research from ARVO 2020 suggest a 4-minute educational video could more than double compliance with patching in pediatric patients with ambylopia.

child eye exam

New research into the use of an educational cartoon video suggests the novel approach could help improve compliance among amblyopic children undergoing occlusion therapy.

Published on ARVOLearn due to cancellation of the 2020 Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting, results of the feasibility study indicate non-compliant children who watched the educational cartoon video during a subsequent visit had increased compliance over the next 4 weeks of treatment.

“Our educational cartoon video is feasible for use in a clinical setting,” said Saeed AlJohani, OD, a PhD candidate at Salus University, during his presentation on ARVOLearn. “Our results show a trend of improvement in compliance with patching after children watched the video.”

As with many other ophthalmic conditions, compliance remains an issue in the treatment of amblyopia among many pediatric patients. With previous research highlighting a black and white educational cartoon, which is not commercially available, improved compliance with patching in patients, Al Johani and a team of colleagues sought to assess if their video could also improve compliance with patching.

The study was designed to take place over the course of 3 study visits. In visit 1, patients received an eye patch with a sensor attached for 4 weeks. At visit 2, which occurred 4 weeks after visit 1, participants were assessed for compliance and those with compliance under 50% were exposed to the video and asked to return for a third visit 1 week later.

The educational cartoon used in the trial, which was titled “David’s Magic Eye Patch,”, was a 4-minute color video that included a child narrator explaining the importance of using the patch. For inclusion in the study, participants needed to be prescribed patching for treatment of unilateral amblyopia, between the ages of 3-10 years old, willing to wear an Eye Patch Assistant (EPA), and previous treatment compliance under 50%.

Of note, the EPA contained a microsensor that allowed for objective measurement of daily compliance with patching.

Results of the study indicated children who watched there video had greater compliance with patching compared to the baseline visit. Specifically, the mean compliance at baseline was measured at 28.13% (SD, 18.71%) compared to 62.84% (SD, 24.93%) at the post-video visit. Investigators calculate mean daily hours of wearing the eye patch at the baseline visit was 1.62 hours (SD, 2.31) compared to 3.08 hours (SD, 2.83) at the post-video visit. Additionally, investigators highlighted all children included in the study reported enjoying the cartoon video.

Investigators also noted the intention to add to the current results through continuing to collect data related to the subject from a larger cohort of patients.

This study, “The Feasibility of an Educational Cartoon Video to Improve Compliance with Patching in Amblyopic Children,” was published on ARVOLearn.

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