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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 12-13

An Analysis of spectacle malingering in Nigerian children

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E N Onwasigwe
Dept. of Ophthalmology, UNTH, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aim: To verify the appropriateness and moral justification for the selective prescription of a pair of plain lenses for spectacle malingerers. Patients and Methods: The study was undertaken over a 5-years period, (May 1996 to April 2001). Patients were selected based on the premise that symptoms of refractive error were verified and found to be feigned, added to the fact that symptoms disappeared with prescription of plain lenses. One hundred and twenty children were recruited. Results: The study population of 120 children had 18 males (15.0%) and 102 females (85.0%), given a male to female ratio of 1:6. The mean age was 13.6 ± 2.3 years. The peak age group was 14-16 years. It was observed that most of these patients manifested intense behavioral disorder that adversely affected their personality and general performance in school. The commonest presenting symptom was defective vision. Other attendant symptoms were headache, photophobia, ocular pain, watering and diplopia. Conclusion: It is highlighted that children who do not respond to counselling may selectively be created with plain lenses.

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