Background: Occlusion therapy for amblyopia has been the mainstay of treatment for centuries, however, acceptance of the patch is often lacking. This study evaluated comfort of wear of the eye patch and assessed the mechanical properties in order to achieve a more individualized prescription. Methods: For 8 consecutive days, parents used each of the four main brands of patches for 2 consecutive days in a randomized fashion. After 2 days a 21-item questionnaire was completed to evaluate comfort of wear for each patch. Compliance was measured electronically using the Occlusion Dose Monitor (ODM). In addition, breathing capacity at 23°C and 33°C, resistance to water penetration, opacity, and strength of adhesion to the skin were measured. Results: Twenty-four children participated. Overall, satisfaction was moderate: large differences in discomfort when removing the patch, skin reaction, and cosmetic appearance were found. In the material measurements large differences were found in opacity and strength of adhesion to the skin. In all brands breathing capability was minimal. Answers given by the parents matched the physical properties of the eye patch. There was no difference in electronically measured compliance between patches. Conclusions: We found large differences in comfort of wear and mechanical properties. Therefore, when prescribing a certain brand of patch, the wide variety needs to be taken into account. Further study into these properties seems warranted; especially breathing capability requires improvement since children often wear the patch for a longer period of time. This could contribute to increasing satisfaction and consequently may improve compliance.

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Strabismus (London)
Department of Ophthalmology

Roefs, A., Tjiam, A., Looman, C., Simonsz-Tóth, B., Fronius, M., Felius, J., … Loudon, S. (2012). Comfort of wear and material properties of eye patches for amblyopia treatment and the influence on compliance. Strabismus (London), 20(1), 3–10. doi:10.3109/09273972.2012.655837