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Vision-Related Quality of Life Benefits Improve More for Children Who Wear Contact Lenses Versus Glasses

Thursday, October 23, 2008 General News J E 4
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ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 23 Compared to glasses, contact lenswear offers improved vision-related quality of life benefits for children andteenagers. Findings from a multi-site, three-year study suggest that childrenwho require vision correction should be given the option of being fitted withcontact lenses study investigators said today at The American Academy ofOptometry meeting.

Using the Pediatric Refractive Error Profile (PREP), an instrument used tocompare the vision-specific quality of life between children affected onlywith refractive error, researchers compared the two groups for a period ofthree years. Children who wore contacts saw greater improvement insatisfaction with their choice of vision correction, appearance, andparticipation in activities, with differences detected as early as one month.

"Studies have shown glasses to be associated with negative attributes inareas of self-perception and attractiveness, so it's not surprising thatchildren experience quality-of-life benefits beyond vision correction fromcontact lens wear," says Marjorie Rah, O.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.O., New EnglandCollege of Optometry, and lead author of this report from the Adolescent andChild Health Initiative to Encourage Vision Empowerment (ACHIEVE) Study.

"The growing body of research in this area demonstrates that contactlenses significantly improve how children feel about their physical appearanceand participating in activities such as sports," she adds. "This should givedoctors and parents greater confidence in presenting children with the optionof contact lens wear when vision correction is required, especially thosechildren active in sports or those who don't like how they look in glasses."

About the Study

A total of 484 eight-to 11-year-old myopic children participated in therandomized, single-masked trial conducted from September 2003 to October 2007at five clinical centers in the United States. Children were randomly assignedto wear spectacles (n= 237) or contact lenses (n = 247) for three years.

The Pediatric Refractive Error Profile is comprised of 26 statementsscored from one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree). Scores arescaled from zero (poor quality of life) to 100 (good quality of life). Themean score of all questions is the Overall PREP score. There are tensubscales: Activities, Appearance, Far Vision, Near Vision, Handling, PeerPerception, Satisfaction, Academics, Symptoms, and Overall Vision.

The PREP survey was administered at baseline, one month, and every sixmonths from baseline for three years. At baseline, all subjects completed thePREP for Glasses survey. At subsequent visits, children assigned to spectaclescompleted the PREP for Glasses and those assigned to contact lenses completedthe PREP for Contact Lenses. The two surveys are identical except the word"contact lenses" replaces "glasses" in the PREP for Contact Lenses.

In comparing the three-year change in quality of life of contact lenswearers to the change of quality of life of spectacle wearers, the biggestmean difference in change of PREP scores was found in the subcategories:satisfaction (28.6, 95% CI = 22.3, 34.9), appearance (26.2, 95% CI = 20.8,31.5), and activities (26.4, 95% CI = 20.9, 32.8), with greater improvementexperienced by the contact lens group in all three groups. Similar changeswere measured as early as one month.

The study was supported by funding from VISTAKON(R), division of Johnson &Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

SOURCE VISTAKON, division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
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