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One hundred and fourteen patients were identified as lost to follow-up between 2014 and 2020, representing 16% of paediatric strabismus surgery performed during this time period. The authors specifically defined lost to follow-up as not attending follow-up appointments between three weeks and six months post-surgery. A telephone survey was conducted with the parents for patients identified as failing to attend appointments post-surgery, with a large proportion of questions on the barriers and obstacles to attendance of scheduled appointments. The authors were able to contact 30 parents of the 114, and this is the focus of the analysis in this paper. When comparing the demographics of those who were and were not lost to follow-up, several significant differences were presented; distance of home from clinic, race / ethnicity and insurance. The reason for non-attendance was grouped into four categories; perception of good outcome, personal, money and transport issues and failed to remember. A majority of those surveyed expressed an interest in a telemedicine option. The authors acknowledge several limitations to this study including the small sample size. This study highlights several measures which could be taken to improve post-surgery attendance, including parent education, appointment reminders and telemedicine options. All these suggestions should be subject to evaluation in future research.

Factors leading to loss to follow-up after strabismus surgery in children.
Daly CM, Dembinski RL, Kraus CL.
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Lauren R Hepworth

University of Liverpool; Honorary Stroke Specialist Clinical Orthoptist, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust; St Helen’s and Knowsley NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

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