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About the project and area of research

Strabismus, or misalignment of the eyes, is a relatively common childhood disorder with an incidence of about 4 per cent in children under 6 years. While it primarily affects the visual field and the perception of the environment, its effects on balance control are largely unexplored.

This research investigates whether balance control is affected in children with strabismus, as they grow and develop. Results will provide insight about the nature of compensatory postural adjustments taking place in children with this condition and whether an intervention is needed to improve balance in these children.

This is a longitudinal study which involves visiting the School of Physiotherapy Balance Clinic and a Marinoto Eye Clinic four times over a period of 18 months. The study was funded by an Health Research Council Emerging Researcher Grant awarded to Dr Prasath Jayakaran. Earlier research that led to this study was supported by the Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust.

Seeking research candidates: Sensory motor re-organisation

This research is part of Dr Jayakaran's programme of research in Sensory Motor Re-organisation. Contact

Study update 2023

We have nearly completed our research study and only have the last few children to complete follow ups with. We would like give a massive thank you of appreciation to the children and whanau who have taken part in our study, and to the clinicians, administrators and research assistants who have supported it.

We hope to share study findings with you later in the year on this webpage, and will host an event to share study findings with you in person.

Presentation and publications

Jayakaran, P., Aman, W., Fernando, U., Hackfath, K., McPherson, A., Williams, M., & Mitchell, L. (2021). Sensory organization for postural control in children with strabismus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Gait & Posture, 88, 94-104. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2021.05.008

Jayakaran, P., Mitchell, L., & Johnson, G. M. (2018). Peripheral sensory information and postural control in children with strabismus. Gait & Posture, 65, 197-202. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.07.173

More information/Contact us

If you would like to read some more information about what our study is about: For further details please read the information sheet.

Phone 0800 687 489 or email

This project has been reviewed and approved by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee (Health). Reference: H19/125

Research team

Principal investigator:
Dr Prasath Jayakaran

Dr Logan Mitchell
Prof Leigh Hale
Prof Rachael Taylor
Professor Susan Whitney

Research team:

Orthoptist: Jill Parkinson. Jill is the research orthoptist who will undertake the vision/eye examinations.

Assistant Research Fellow: Jane Terry Jane is the Assistant Research Fellow who will be your primary contact over the course of the study.

Research Assistant: Kaisa Kentala. Kaisa is the research assistant at the School of Physiotherapy who will be taking the children through the balance assessment activities.

Previous research

Our preliminary study identified differences between children with and without strabismus but it is not known whether these differences persist or change over time. Furthermore it is not known as to whether or not these children develop additional deficits in their balance performance.

Jayakaran, P., Mitchell, L., & Johnson, G. M. (2018). Peripheral sensory information and postural control in children with strabismus. Gait and Posture, 65,197 202. doi:


Health Research Council of New Zealand

Interested in studying with us?

We are seeking graduate students interested in research in sensory information and reorganisation for postural control. If you are interested in PhD or Masters study see further information on the projects and how to contact us.

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