Researchers recently used the Pediatric Eye Questionnaire (PedEyeQ) to evaluate the association between strabismus, functional vision and eye-related quality of life in children and their families. They found that children with strabismus have impaired functional vision and reduced eye-related quality of life across distinct domains. They also noted that parents also have a lower quality of life.

The PedEyeQ’s age-specific child and proxy versions were sensitive to the specific concerns of children with strabismus and their parents. The functional vision domain of the PedEyeQ contains questions regarding difficulties in seeing, learning, concentrating, schoolwork, sports and running into things. However, assessing general health-related quality of life using the general Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory showed few differences between children with strabismus and normal controls.

The study included 91 children with strabismus and 166 visually normal controls across three age groups (newborn to four, five to 11 and 12 to 17). Among the two younger age groups, the greatest mean difference was in functional vision, while among children ages 12 to 17, the greatest mean difference was in frustration/worry.

The domains of the parent PedEyeQ were identified from individual parent interviews and address specific worries associated with the child’s functional vision, their self-perception/interactions, the eye condition itself and how the eye condition affects the family. Parent PedEyeQ scores were lower with strabismus; the greatest difference was in worry about child’s eye condition.

The researchers believe that the present study provides a more granular evaluation of eye-related quality of life associations. They believe that using the new questionnaire in children with strabismus may reframe clinical management goals beyond motor and sensory outcomes, and their findings may help advance the understanding of the specific ways in which strabismus affects children and their families.

Hatt SR, Leske DA, Castañeda, et al. Association of strabismus with functional vision and eye-related quality of life in children. JAMA Ophthalmol. March 26, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].