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Comparison of home-based pencil push-up therapy and office-based orthoptic therapy in symptomatic patients of convergence insufficiency: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Purpose

To assess and compare the effectiveness of home-based pencil push-up therapy (PPT) and office-based orthoptic therapy (OBOT) in patients with convergence insufficiency.

Methods

In this randomized clinical trial, 176 symptomatic patients with convergence insufficiency, aged between 9 to 30 years, were randomly assigned to receive 6 weeks of home-based PPT (Group I) or OBOT (Group II) after determining refractive error, near point of convergence (NPC), convergence insufficiency symptom survey (CISS) score, near phoria and positive fusional vergences (PFV) at near. The participants of Group I underwent home-based PPT (pencil push-ups exercises15 minutes per day, daily for 6 weeks) and those of Group II OBOT (convergence fusional exercises on synoptophore for 20 min per day, 3 days a week, for 6 weeks) without home reinforcement. Patients were re-examined at 3 and 6 weeks after initiation of treatment. NPC and CISS score were the primary and secondary outcome measures, respectively. Statistical analysis was performed with the independent samples t-test, Friedman test and the analysis of variance (ANOVA). Statistical significance was indicated by p-value < 0.05.

Results

Participants of both the groups had statistically significant improvement in NPC, CISS score, PFV and near phoria (p < 0.001), but there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (p > 0.05). However, patients of Group II had significantly better PFV after final visit than those of Group I (p < 0.001).

Conclusion

Home-based PPT with good suppression control and with compliance ensured by log book entries, is a simple, cheap, less time consuming and comparably effective alternative to more expensive OBOT for patients suffering from CI. CTRI registration number: REF/2016/11/012,732, Date of registration 25/04/ 2016, Retrospectively Registered.

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Funding

This study was funded by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh. Grant number: 20/IM/2016.

This study was compliant with the ethical standards of institutional research committee.

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Correspondence to Anupam Singh.

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Conflict of interest

Author Anupam Singh has received research grants from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh. All of the above enlisted authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of HELSINKI and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. In case of minors, informed consent from the parents/legally authorized representatives of the participants was obtained along with assent.

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Singh, A., Saxena, V., Yadav, S. et al. Comparison of home-based pencil push-up therapy and office-based orthoptic therapy in symptomatic patients of convergence insufficiency: a randomized controlled trial. Int Ophthalmol 41, 1327–1336 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10792-020-01689-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10792-020-01689-7

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