Efficacy of Coloured Overlays and Lenses for the Treatment of Reading Difficulty: An Overview of Systematic Reviews

Suttle, C. M., Conway, M. L. & Lawrenson, J. (2018). Efficacy of Coloured Overlays and Lenses for the Treatment of Reading Difficulty: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. Clinical and Experimental Optometry,

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Abstract

Background
Coloured overlays or lenses are widely available for use by children and adults with difficulties or discomfort while reading. In recent years, systematic reviews have been conducted in an attempt to establish the strength of the evidence base for this intervention. The aims of this overview is to systematically review these reviews.

Method
The methodology was published prospectively as a protocol (Prospero CRD42017059172). Online databases Medline, Cinahl, Ovid and the Cochrane library were searched for systematic reviews on the efficacy of coloured overlays or lenses for the alleviation of reading difficulty or discomfort. Included studies were appraised using the AMSTAR 2 checklist. Characteristics of included studies including aspects of methods, results and conclusions were recorded. Both processes were conducted independently by two reviewers and any discrepancies were resolved by discussion.

Results
Thirty-one studies were found via databases and other sources. After excluding duplicates and those not fitting the inclusion criteria, four reviews were included in the analysis. While all reviews were systematic, their methodology, results and conclusions differed. Three of the four concluded that there is insufficient good quality evidence to support the use of coloured overlays or lenses for reading difficulty, while one concluded that, despite research limitations, the evidence does support their use.

Conclusions
On balance, systematic reviews to date indicate that there is not yet a reliable evidence base on which to recommend coloured overlays or lenses for the alleviation of reading difficulty or discomfort. High quality, low bias research is needed to investigate their effectiveness in different forms of reading difficulty and discomfort for adults and children.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Suttle, C. M., Conway, M. L. & Lawrenson, J. (2018). Efficacy of Coloured Overlays and Lenses for the Treatment of Reading Difficulty: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. , which is to be published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1444-0938. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Optometry & Visual Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19242

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