Comparative Analysis of Satisfaction with the Use of Ready-Made Spectacles and Custom-Made Spectacles among School Children in Nigeria: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Bernadine N. Ekpenyong, Kovin Naidoo, Antor O. Ndep, Kelechukwu Ahaiwe, Onyebuchi Ndukwe, David Nwandu, Augustus Ezenwankwo, Ekanem Ekanem


Refractive error is an important cause of visual impairment in Cross River State (CRS), Nigeria. Optical services and spectacles are not readily available to school children for the treatment. The aim of this study was to compare satisfaction with the use of ready-made spectacles and custom-made spectacles in the treatment of refractive error for school eye health programme. A one month double-blinded randomised controlled trial was used to evaluate satisfaction, symptoms, vision and planned continued use of ready-made and custom-made spectacles in school children 6 -17 years with ≥ 1 diopter of uncorrected refractive error. The sample size for each arm was 63. This research was funded by African Vision Research Institute (AVRI). Full ethical approval was obtained from the ethics committee CRS Ministry of Health, Nigeria. Data was analysed using SPSS and EPI info. Out of the 2110 children refracted with non-cycloplegic method, 243 (11.5%) has significant refractive error and only 104(82.5% response rate) met the inclusion criteria for the intervention study. There was no difference (p >0.05) in satisfaction (96.2% vs 96.2%) and  symptoms ( headache 5.8% vs7.7%; eye strain 3.8% vs 1.9%  ) in the use of ready-made vs custom-made spectacles to the 1 month follow up. Ready-made spectacles are recommended for eye health programmes in schools because it is a cost effective strategy for treatment of refractive errors. The ready-made spectacles should be available in different frame pupillary distance for various powers to reduce discomfort associated with frame induced prismatic effect.

Keywords: Eye health, vision care, school-aged children, ready-made spectacles, custom-made spectacles

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