Outcomes following surgery for horizontal strabismus in children of lower socioeconomic backgrounds

Robert L. Dembinski, Megan E. Collins, Courtney L. Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this article is to compare alignment outcomes following pediatric strabismus surgery for simple horizontal strabismus in patients with state-based aid, used as a proxy for lower socioeconomic status (SES) with those with private insurance. Medical records of all children treated with horizontal strabismus surgery over a period from 2014-17 were retrospectively reviewed. Medical assistance was used as a proxy for lower SES. Patients were compared to a control population undergoing similar surgery by same surgeons in the same time period. Data points were collected at preoperative and postoperative month 6 visits. Improvement in alignment was the primary outcome variable.  Improvement in fusion, amblyopia, and stereopsis were also examined. Demographic information and compliance with treatment recommendations were recorded. 69 patients met inclusion criteria from a total population of 105 patients; 36 were excluded due to loss to follow-up. This was compared to a control group with private insurance; 34 patients were identified out of a total of 38, 4 patients were lost to follow-up. Overall rate of operative success was 71.0% at POM6. Overall rate of success for control group was 73.5%. The difference failed to be statistically significant (p = 0.37). Race, sex, age at time of surgery, and type of strabismus (esotropia, exotropia) failed to correlate with success rate of surgery. Poor compliance with prescribed treatments (glasses, patching/atropine) in both groups correlated with surgical failure. 68.1% of study patients and 70.6% of control reported good compliance with treatment. We present the first analysis of the impact of SES on strabismus surgery outcomes. Overall surgical success rate in our study population failed to differ significantly from a control population and were comparable to that reported in the literature. We found that compliance with treatment influenced surgical success rates in our study population. The high rate of lost to follow-up in the study population is an important factor influencing our conclusion that no difference exists between our groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019


  • socioeconomic status
  • strabismus outcomes
  • strabismus surgery
  • surgical success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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