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Background: The prevalence of myopia keeps increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to map the worldwide treatment preferences of ophthalmologists managing myopia control during the first wave of the pandemic. Methods: An online questionnaire inquiring about pharmacological and optical treatment patterns during the first half of 2020 was sent to pediatric ophthalmology as well as general ophthalmology memberships worldwide. The results among pediatric ophthalmologists were compared to a previous study we performed before the pandemic. Results: A total of 2269 respondents from 94 countries were included. Most respondents were pediatric ophthalmologists (64.6%), followed by ophthalmologists from other subspecialties (32.3%). The preferred modality for all geographical regions was a combination therapy of pharmacological and optical treatments. When evaluated independently, the pharmacological treatment was more popular than the optical treatment in most regions other than East Asia (P < 0.001). Compared to a pre-pandemic questionnaire, the participation of pediatric ophthalmologists affiliated with non-university hospitals increased. Additionally, the prevalence of respondents utilizing either any type of pharmacological treatment and those that using only evidence-based treatments increased globally. Although a decline in the use of optical treatment was evident worldwide, the use of evidence-based optical treatments increased. Conclusion: Ophthalmologists around the world preferred a combination therapy of pharmacological and optical treatments. More pediatric ophthalmologists treated myopia progression and preferred a better evidence-based approach to control myopia. These trends reflect a positive response and more awareness of the rising prevalence of myopia due to the increased burden of myopia imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kfir, J., Wygnanski-Jaffe, T., Farzavandi, S., Wei, Z., Yam, J. C., de Faber, J. T., … Ospina, L. H. (2023). The impact of the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood myopia control practice patterns among ophthalmologists—an international pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus council global perspective. Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 261(1), 233–240. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00417-022-05864-7