Five office visits per week for acupuncture is fairly intense, especially compared with the passive treatment in the other group, which consisted of having the parents struggle with the child at home to keep the patch on his or her good eye for 2 hours per day. As Zhao et al1 acknowledge, it would have been useful to perform “placebo” acupuncture on the patching group to eliminate the Hawthorne effect—the fact that many problems tend to get better when they receive intensive positive attention. It wouldn't be surprising if the children in the acupuncture group actually performed the daily at-home near-vision activities and wore their spectacle correction more conscientiously owing to greater positive reinforcement during the daily acupuncture sessions. It would also be informative to see a comparison of acupuncture with atropine fogging of the dominant eye in hyperopic anisometropic amblyopia. With atropine therapy, it is harder for the child to avoid compliance than with patching; therefore, wearing the spectacle correction and fixating with the amblyopic eye is more effectively promoted. Back to top Article Information Correspondence: Dr Milsky, Comprehensive Eye Care Professionals, 525 Waterford Dr, Edison, NJ 08817 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Financial Disclosure: None reported. References 1. Zhao J, Lam DS, Chen LJ, et al. Randomized controlled trial of patching vs acupuncture for anisometropic amblyopia in children aged 7 to 12 years. Arch Ophthalmol. 2010;128(12):1510-151721149771PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Archives of Ophthalmology – American Medical Association
Published: Jul 1, 2011
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