The impact of spectacle correction on the well-being of children with vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error: a systematic review

This review examines the impact of spectacle correction on the well-being of children with uncorrected refractive errors (URE). URE is a leading cause of childhood vision impairment, affecting millions of children worldwide. Despite the effectiveness of spectacles in correcting these errors, many children lack access to them, which can lead to various issues, including anxiety, reading difficulties, and reduced quality of life. The study reviewed articles published between 1999 and 2021, assessing the association between spectacle correction and children's well-being. 9 studies involving 25,522 children, 20 parents, and 25 teachers were included in the analysis, with the primary outcome focusing on cognitive and educational well-being, psychological and mental health well-being, and quality of life. Findings suggest that spectacle correction positively impacts children's cognitive and educational well-being, and improves mathematics and literacy scores, reading fluency, academic performance, and school function. Additionally, spectacle correction was associated with reduced anxiety, increased mental health scores in some cases, and an improved quality of life. The review however acknowledges limitations, including the geographical focus on some studies, potential confounding factors, and the lack of a meta-analysis due to study heterogeneity.

Publication date

August 18, 2023


BMC Public Health


Govender-Poonsamy Pirindhavellie; Ai Chee Yong; Khathutshelo Percy Mashige; Kovin S. Naidoo; Ving Fai Chan
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