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March 2004

The Effectiveness of Patching for Amblyopia Should Be Tested With UntreatedControl Subjects

Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(3):423-425. doi:10.1001/archopht.122.3.423

The treatment protocol in this study1 consistedof 1 hour of supervised near visual activities, including reading and drawing,while the patch was worn for 2 or 6 hours. The reported visual acuity improvementis consistent with the Hawthorne effect. This term is used to describe behavioralchanges due to an awareness of being observed or active compliance with thesupposed wishes of researchers because of special attention received.2 The Hawthorne effect is known to bias outcome prevalenceestimates.3

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