Purpose: To determine if strabismus affects the ratings of official U.S. Army photographs. Methods: Photographs of seven women and seven men officers (subjects) were digitally altered to give the impression of strabismus. Four photographs of each subject were obtained: two in an orthotropic state; one in a left exotropic state; and one in a left esotropic state. The photographs were presented randomly to a panel of 38 raters. Masked to the study design, the raters rated every photograph on a 1 to 10 Likert scale. The results were grouped according to eye alignment: two orthotropic groups, one exotropic group, and one esotropic group. Comparisons of the mean ratings were made between each eye alignment group and based on the subject's gender. Results: The mean rating for each orthotropic group was 5.4 and 5.5 Likert scale units with a SD of 0.8 and 0.9, respectively (group 1 and group 2). The mean rating for the exotropic group was 5.4 Likert scale units with a SD of 0.7. The mean rating for the esotropic group was 5.1 Likert scale units with a SD of 0.8. Significantly lower ratings were obtained for the esotropic group compared with the orthotropic group (p = 0.028). Women received significantly lower ratings regardless of eye alignment (p = 0.044). Conclusions: This study indicates that the presence of esotropia negatively affects the rating of an official U.S. Army photograph; furthermore, female gender negatively affects ratings.
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