Association of Pediatric Strabismus and Functional Impairment: A Cross-sectional Nationwide Analysis

Brian T. Cheng, Anne B. Kim, Sameera Nadimpalli, Stacy L. Pineles, Sudhi P. Kurup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To examine the association of childhood strabismus with functional limitation to identify particular domains of impairment. Methods: The authors analyzed 201 children ages 5 to 17 years with strabismus enrolled in the 1996-2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys, representative annual surveys of the U.S. population. Functional impairment was assessed using the Columbia Impairment Scale (CIS), a validated measure of behavioral and psychosocial functioning. A CIS score of 16 or greater defined clinically significant functional impairment. Multivariate regression models adjusted for age, sex, race, ethnicity, household income, geographic location, and insurance type were constructed to examine the association of strabismus diagnosis with overall impairment and individual domains of function. Results: Children diagnosed as having strabismus had higher rates of clinically significant functional impairment compared to those without strabismus (15.1% vs 9.1%, adjusted odds ratio [95% CI]: 1.82 [1.11 to 2.97], P = .02). Moreover, strabismus diagnosis was associated with higher rates of problems with getting along with their mother (1.70 [1.21 to 2.40], P = .003) and father (1.66 [1.16 to 2.38], P = .006), getting along with other children (1.67 [1.16 to 2.40], P = .006), behavior at home (1.94 [1.37 to 2.74], P = .0002), staying out of trouble (1.52 [1.04 to 2.23], P = .03), nervousness (1.49 [1.05 to 2.11], P = .02), and getting involved with sports and hobbies (1.55 [1.03 to 2.34], P = .04). Conclusions: Childhood strabismus is associated with 1.8-fold greater odds of clinically significant functional impairment, with greater dysfunction in specific relationship and behavioral domains. Functional burden may be an important consideration in management decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-276
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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