Spectacle wearing in children randomised to ready-made or custom spectacles, and potential cost savings to programmes: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Morjaria, P; Murali, K; Evans, J; Gilbert, C; (2016) Spectacle wearing in children randomised to ready-made or custom spectacles, and potential cost savings to programmes: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 17 (1). p. 36. ISSN 1745-6215 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-016-1167-x

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Uncorrected refractive errors are the commonest cause of visual impairment in children, with myopia being the most frequent type. Myopia usually starts around 9 years of age and progresses throughout adolescence. Hyperopia usually affects younger children, and astigmatism affects all age groups. Many children have a combination of myopia and astigmatism. To correct refractive errors, the type and degree of refractive error are measured and appropriate corrective lenses prescribed and dispensed in the spectacle frame of choice. Custom spectacles (that is, with the correction specifically required for that individual) are required if astigmatism is present, and/or the refractive error differs between eyes. Spectacles without astigmatic correction and where the refractive error is the same in both eyes are straightforward to dispense. These are known as 'ready-made' spectacles. High-quality spectacles of this type can be produced in high volume at an extremely low cost. Although spectacle correction improves visual function, a high proportion of children do not wear their spectacles for a variety of reasons. The aim of this study is to compare spectacle wear at 3-4 months amongst school children aged 11 to 15 years who have significant, simple uncorrected refractive error randomised to ready-made or custom spectacles of equivalent quality, and to evaluate cost savings to programmes. The study will take place in urban and semi-urban government schools in Bangalore, India. The hypothesis is that similar proportions of children randomised to ready-made or custom spectacles will be wearing their spectacles at 3-4 months. The trial is a randomised, non-inferiority, double masked clinical trial of children with simple uncorrected refractive errors. After screening, children will be randomised to ready-made or custom spectacles. Children will choose their preferred frame design. After 3-4 months the children will be followed up to assess spectacle wear. Ready-made spectacles have benefits for providers as well as parents and children, as a wide range of prescriptions and frame types can be taken to schools and dispensed immediately. In contrast, custom spectacles have to be individually made up in optical laboratories, and taken back to the school and given to the correct child. ISRCTN14715120 (Controlled-Trials.com) Date registered: 04 February 2015.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
International Centre for Eye Health
Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Related URLs:
PubMed ID: 26787016
Web of Science ID: 368593200001
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2534140


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