Exemplifying practice-based research: the influence of age on myopia progression

David Berkow, Mark Dunne, Nicola S. Logan, Stephen J. Anderson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical relevance:
The electronic storage of patient records and modern-day search engines present private practitioners with a unique opportunity to extract valuable data for investigative research purposes. However, practitioners seldom harness this resource and consequently a vast repository of clinical data remains largely unexplored.

This study, based on real-world data from an optometric practice, stands as an example of how clinicians can actively contribute to research. In doing so it underscores the role played by age in determining the rate of natural myopia progression.

Methods: A retrospective data analysis of the refractive status, age and optical correction type of participants, was conducted over six years. Forty-four participants were recruited (25 contact lens and 19 spectacle wearers), with a presenting age varying from 5 to 20 years (median, 11 years). Non-cycloplegic, monocular foveal refractions were completed using a ShinNippon open-field autorefractor, corroborated with subjective refraction. The mean spherical equivalent refractive error was calculated for the participants’ initial visit (baseline measure) and for a six-year follow-up visit (progression measure), with myopia progression defined as the difference between these measures. Statistical analyses were computed using Decision Tree Analysis, with a significance level set at 95%.

The participant age at first visit exerted a significant influence on natural myopia progression over the assessment period (F 1,42 = 17.11, p < 0.001). Individuals aged ≤ 10 years had approximately twice the myopic progression (mean, −2.27 D) of those aged > 10 years (mean, −1.13 D). Neither degree of myopia at the initial visit nor optical correction type had a significant effect on progression (p > 0.05).

Utilizing the advantage of small real-world data samples, the benefit of research by private practitioners was demonstrated, providing evidence that the age at which a child first presents for an eye examination is highly influential in determining their rate of myopia progression.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
Early online date19 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.


  • Childrens vision
  • myopia progression
  • practice-based research


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