Advice for Parents
The aim of this App is to assist you and your child in the patching process. Patching is not going to be easy as your child's vision may be quite poor and they will object strongly to wearing the patch. The first two to three weeks will be the most difficult; once the vision starts to improve it will become easier. Plan treats and rewards for your child at agreed times or number of hours of patching. While they have the patch on try to distract them with enjoyable tasks ie: colouring, painting or computer games. You will need to supervise your child to ensure they are not peeking around the patch and that they are safe.
The calendar will motivate your child to wear the patch, and together with praise from you it will help them to achieve the required hours of patching. The calendar also provides a record which your clinician can access to monitor the patching, as it is important information for them to plan future treatment.
If you have problems patching, it is advisable to contact your clinician for advice rather than stop or wait till the next appointment.
Advice for Clinicians
Patching can be long and arduous for parent, child and clinician! This App is designed to help this process. Developed by an Orthoptist with 30 years' experience, the following techniques have been found to be successful.
- The parent must feel empowered and motivated to do the treatment, after all they are doing your work for you.
- A critical step is to explain in detail why you are asking them to put a patch on, and that it is one of the most effective treatments with proven outcomes. An information leaflet is also very helpful.
- Parents must supervise occlusion; a good time for patching is meal times when they are distracted.
- If the child is old enough to understand it is helpful to explain to them directly, in terms they can understand,why they are wearing the patch. The promise of a small reward that you will give them if they have done well is also a good motivator. When they have worn the patch well, praise and encourage them.
- Encourage the parent to persevere with the patching and explain that if it is done consistently it will be completed sooner.
- Sympathise and empathise with the parent and explain that it will not be an easy process but there are no short cuts.
- Support, ask the parent to call you if they are having difficulties rather than stop the occlusion.
Ref. “Parental predictors of poor visual outcome of amblyopia” Lanca, Carolina AOJ. 2010 vol 42.2.
The patching information on the app can be accessed by you or your nominated staff on the server. You will be able to monitor the patching and either call or email the patient to encourage them between appointments. The recording of patching will allow you to plan future patching regimes depending on the vision achieved. The calendars can be permanently stored in the patient's records for future reference. This can be helpful if the patient moves and consults another health professional in the future.
Information for Eyecare professionals
The eye care professional has free access to Patching Pirate; they can sign up and create a profile. The clinician will receive a unique token to give their patients which will allow the app to deliver the patching information to their database. The information will be displayed to show daily patching, total hours and percentage compliance. This will be a great tool for research to show before and after visual acuity and hours of patching requiredto achieve an outcome.