Monday, January 16, 2012

Vision therapy for convergence insufficiency improves academic behaviors

We know that in-office optometric vision therapy is the best available treatment for convergence insufficiency.  Convergence insufficiency is a concern for parents, patients and doctors because it causes the eyes to malfunction when doing near work such as reading. And that is a problem because it impacts academic performance. 

We now have a study that confirms that academic behaviours, as measured by the Academic Behavior Survey (ABS), improve following successful treatment of convergence insufficiency.  The study was published in the January 2012 issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

The study's conclusion was that "A successful or improved outcome after CI treatment was associated with a reduction in the frequency of adverse academic behaviors and parental concern associated with reading and school work as reported by parents." 

To the doctors at our Vancouver clinic, the study simply states the obvious.  The whole reason why convergence insufficiency is treated is because it adversely impacts a patient and a successful treatment would improve the patient's life by removing those adverse impacts.  Furthermore, it logically follows that if convergence insufficiency adversely impacts near work, reading and academics will be challenging for the patient.

More importantly, since we treat convergence insufficiency with vision therapy at our office, we have seen academic improvement following treatment many times - often reported to us by the patient's parents.  Nevertheless, it is always useful to have a scientific research paper to refer to. 

For those who want to get into the nitty-gritty of the results and statistics, here they are:
The mean ABS score for the entire group at baseline was 12.85 (SD = 6.3). The mean ABS score decreased (improved) in those categorized as successful, improved, and non-responder by 4.0, 2.9, and 1.3 points, respectively. The improvement in the ABS score was significantly related to treatment outcome (p < 0.0001), with the ABS score being significantly lower (better) for children who were successful or improved after treatment as compared to children who were non-responders (p = 0.002 and 0.043, respectively).
Other vision disorders that impact academics include binocular vision disorders in general (of which convergence insufficiency is one) and visual information processing or visual skills deficits.

Related articles:

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In a study published in 2006 in the journal, Optometry, researchers set out to determine whether there was an association between vision-related quality-of-life factors and academic performance. To answer the question, the ...
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We now have a study that confirms that academic behaviours, as measured by the Academic Behavior Survey (ABS), improve following successful treatment of convergence insufficiency. The study was published in the ...
Jun 16, 2012
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