Public Health

Adomfeh J, Jastrzembski BG, Oke I. Association of Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status With Visual Impairment in Adolescent Children in the US. JAMA Ophthalmol 2022;Abstract
Importance: Although racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in visual impairment have been described in adults, few studies have focused on the adolescent population, which may provide insight into the emergence of vision health inequities. Objective: To describe visual health disparities among adolescent children in the US. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a cross-sectional study of adolescents from the 2005 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were aged 12 to 18 years with a completed visual function questionnaire and eye examination. Data analyses were conducted from January 19 to July 20, 2022. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes included subjective (self-reported poor vision) and objective (visual acuity worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye) measures of visual function. Multivariable logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between the sociodemographic risk factors and each outcome, adjusting for age, sex, and other covariates. Results: The 2833 included participants (mean [SD] age, 15.5 [2.0] years; 1407 female participants [49%]) represent a survey-weighted 57 million US adolescent children, of whom 14% were non-Hispanic Black participants (876), 11% were Mexican American participants (828), 63% were non-Hispanic White participants (816), and 11% were other race and ethnicity (313). A total of 5% of participants (266) were not US citizens, and 19% (773) had a family income below the poverty threshold. There were increased odds of self-reported poor vision among Black (odds ratio [OR], 2.85; 95% CI, 2.00-4.05; P < .001), Mexican American (OR, 2.83; 95% CI, 1.70-4.73; P < .001), and low-income (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.63-3.65; P < .001) adolescent children. Similarly, there were increased odds of visual acuity worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye among Black (OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.41-3.24; P = .001), Mexican American (OR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.39-3.26; P = .001), and non-US citizen (OR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.10-3.49; P = .02) participants. Conclusions and Relevance: In this nationally representative sample from 2005 to 2008, adolescent children identifying as Black, Mexican American, low-income, or non-US citizen were more likely to report poor subjective visual function and perform worse on objective visual acuity testing. A greater understanding of the underlying etiology of these disparities may yield opportunities for improving vision at the population level.
Marmamula S, Barrenkala NR, Kumbham TR, Modepalli SB, Yellapragada R, Khanna RC, Friedman DS. Impact of an intervention for avoidable vision loss on visual function in the elderly-The Hyderabad Ocular Morbidity in Elderly Study (HOMES). Eye (Lond) 2022;Abstract
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To report the impact of interventions for avoidable vision impairment (VI) on the visual function of elderly residents in 'homes for the aged' in India. METHODS: Participants aged ≥60 years were recruited. A comprehensive eye examination was conducted by trained examiners and interventions were provided. Trained social investigators administered the Indian Vision Function questionnaire (INDVFQ) to assess visual function before and after the intervention (spectacles, cataract surgery or laser capsulotomy). Lower scores on IVFQ imply better visual function. VI was defined as presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 in the better eye. VI due to cataract, uncorrected refractive errors, and posterior capsular opacification after cataract surgery were considered avoidable VI. RESULTS: The mean age of the participants (n = 613) was 73.8 years (standard deviation: 8.1 years) and 378 (62.2%) were women. 64/103 (62.1%) participants who had avoidable VI at baseline were evaluated after the intervention. Significant gains were observed in all four domains of visual function. There was a 14.9% improvement in mobility scores (33.8 versus 28.8; p = 0.03), a 19.9% improvement in the activity limitations score (36.8 versus 29.5; p < 0.01), a 10.9% improvement in the psychosocial impact score (41.1 versus 36.6; p < 0.01) and a 13.6% improvement in the visual symptoms score (49.2 versus 42.5 p < 0.01). Overall, the mean IVFQ score improved by 16.4% (47.6 versus 39.8; p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Elderly individuals in residential care with avoidable VI had a significant improvement in visual function after relatively low-cost interventions such as spectacles and cataract surgery. Strategies are needed to provide these interventions for the elderly in 'homes for the aged' in India.
Agrawal R, Ludi Z, Betzler BK, Testi I, Mahajan S, Rousellot A, Kempen JH, Smith JR, McCluskey P, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) calculator-a consensus-based decision tool for initiating antitubercular therapy in ocular tuberculosis. Eye (Lond) 2022;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To introduce the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS) Calculator, an online clinical scoring system for initiating antitubercular therapy (ATT) in patients with ocular tuberculosis (TB). METHOD: The COTS Calculator was derived from COTS Consensus (COTS CON) data, which has previously published consensus guidelines. Using a two-step Delphi method, 81 experts evaluated 486 clinical scenario-based questions, ranking their likelihood of initiating ATT in each specific scenario. Each scenario was a permutation of the results and/or availability of five following components-clinical phenotype, endemicity, two immunological (tuberculin skin test, interferon-γ release assay) and one radiological (chest X-Ray) test results-and a sixth component further stratifying three of the clinical phenotypes. The median scores and interquartile ranges (IQR) of each scenario were tabulated, representing the expert consensus on whether to initiate ATT in that scenario. The consensus table was encoded to develop the COTS Calculator. RESULTS: The COTS Calculator can be accessed online at: https://www.oculartb.net/cots-calc . The attending physician can select the conditions present in the patient, which will generate a median score from 1 to 5. 114 out of 486 scenarios (24%) deliberated had a median score of 5 indicating expert consensus to initiate ATT. CONCLUSION: The COTS Calculator is an efficient, low-cost, evidence and experience-based clinical tool to guide ATT initiation. While it holds substantial promise in improving standard-of-care for ocular-TB patients, future validation studies can help to as certain its clinical utility and reliability.
Jiro MC, Sigua M, Ivey SL, Maus M, Hennein L, Dio M, Cocohoba J. Ang Ating Mata: Disparities in Eye Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices among Older Adult Filipino-Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area Counties. J Immigr Minor Health 2022;Abstract
Filipino-Americans are the third largest Asian-American population, with a median age of 44. However, there is limited literature focusing on the group's ophthalmic care engagement. Timely eye examinations and outreach are necessary to reduce visual impairment in this older community. To assess eye care knowledge, attitudes, and practices, we conducted a cross-sectional study surveying Filipino-Americans within the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. Associations between primary outcomes and sociodemographic factors were analyzed using chi-squared analysis and student's T-test. In our convenience sample of 256 surveys, a majority of participants are receiving appropriate eye care; those that lacked health and eye insurance, immigrated and are lower income did not receive optimal eye care. Study participants also demonstrated a lack of awareness of eye diseases and risk factors. Our results suggest that culturally sensitive eye health education materials are lacking and should be made accessible for this large and rapidly growing population.
Deiner MS, Kaur G, McLeod SD, Schallhorn JM, Chodosh J, Hwang DH, Lietman TM, Porco TC. A Google Trends Approach to Identify Distinct Diurnal and Day-of-Week Web-Based Search Patterns Related to Conjunctivitis and Other Common Eye Conditions: Infodemiology Study. J Med Internet Res 2022;24(7):e27310.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Studies suggest diurnal patterns of occurrence of some eye conditions. Leveraging new information sources such as web-based search data to learn more about such patterns could improve the understanding of patients' eye-related conditions and well-being, better inform timing of clinical and remote eye care, and improve precision when targeting web-based public health campaigns toward underserved populations. OBJECTIVE: To investigate our hypothesis that the public is likely to consistently search about different ophthalmologic conditions at different hours of the day or days of week, we conducted an observational study using search data for terms related to ophthalmologic conditions such as conjunctivitis. We assessed whether search volumes reflected diurnal or day-of-week patterns and if those patterns were distinct from each other. METHODS: We designed a study to analyze and compare hourly search data for eye-related and control search terms, using time series regression models with trend and periodicity terms to remove outliers and then estimate diurnal effects. We planned a Google Trends setting, extracting data from 10 US states for the entire year of 2018. The exposure was internet search, and the participants were populations who searched through Google's search engine using our chosen study terms. Our main outcome measures included cyclical hourly and day-of-week web-based search patterns. For statistical analyses, we considered P<.001 to be statistically significant. RESULTS: Distinct diurnal (P<.001 for all search terms) and day-of-week search patterns for eye-related terms were observed but with differing peak time periods and cyclic strengths. Some diurnal patterns represented those reported from prior clinical studies. Of the eye-related terms, "pink eye" showed the largest diurnal amplitude-to-mean ratios. Stronger signal was restricted to and peaked in mornings, and amplitude was higher on weekdays. By contrast, "dry eyes" had a higher amplitude diurnal pattern on weekends, with stronger signal occurring over a broader evening-to-morning period and peaking in early morning. CONCLUSIONS: The frequency of web-based searches for various eye conditions can show cyclic patterns according to time of the day or week. Further studies to understand the reasons for these variations may help supplement the current clinical understanding of ophthalmologic symptom presentation and improve the timeliness of patient messaging and care interventions.
Deiner MS, Seitzman GD, Kaur G, McLeod SD, Chodosh J, Lietman TM, Porco TC. Sustained Reductions in Online Search Interest for Communicable Eye and Other Conditions During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Infodemiology Study. JMIR Infodemiology 2022;2(1):e31732.Abstract
Background: In a prior study at the start of the pandemic, we reported reduced numbers of Google searches for the term "conjunctivitis" in the United States in March and April 2020 compared with prior years. As one explanation, we conjectured that reduced information-seeking may have resulted from social distancing reducing contagious conjunctivitis cases. Here, after 1 year of continued implementation of social distancing, we asked if there have been persistent reductions in searches for "conjunctivitis," and similarly for other communicable disease terms, compared to control terms. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if reduction in searches in the United States for terms related to conjunctivitis and other common communicable diseases occurred in the spring-winter season of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to compare this outcome to searches for terms representing noncommunicable conditions, COVID-19, and to seasonality. Methods: Weekly relative search frequency volume data from Google Trends for 68 search terms in English for the United States were obtained for the weeks of March 2011 through February 2021. Terms were classified a priori as 16 terms related to COVID-19, 29 terms representing communicable conditions, and 23 terms representing control noncommunicable conditions. To reduce bias, all analyses were performed while masked to term names, classifications, and locations. To test for the significance of changes during the pandemic, we detrended and compared postpandemic values to those expected based on prepandemic trends, per season, computing one- and two-sided P values. We then compared these P values between term groups using Wilcoxon rank-sum and Fisher exact tests to assess if non-COVID-19 terms representing communicable diseases were more likely to show significant reductions in searches in 2020-2021 than terms not representing such diseases. We also assessed any relationship between a term's seasonality and a reduced search trend for the term in 2020-2021 seasons. P values were subjected to false discovery rate correction prior to reporting. Data were then unmasked. Results: Terms representing conjunctivitis and other communicable conditions showed a sustained reduced search trend in the first 4 seasons of the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic compared to prior years. In comparison, the search for noncommunicable condition terms was significantly less reduced (Wilcoxon and Fisher exact tests, P<.001; summer, autumn, winter). A significant correlation was also found between reduced search for a term in 2020-2021 and seasonality of that term (Theil-Sen, P<.001; summer, autumn, winter). Searches for COVID-19-related conditions were significantly elevated compared to those in prior years, and searches for influenza-related terms were significantly lower than those for prior years in winter 2020-2021 (P<.001). Conclusions: We demonstrate the low-cost and unbiased use of online search data to study how a wide range of conditions may be affected by large-scale interventions or events such as social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings support emerging clinical evidence implicating social distancing and the COVID-19 pandemic in the reduction of communicable disease and on ocular conditions.
Guo X, Shakarchi AF, Block SS, Friedman DS, Repka MX, Collins ME. Noncycloplegic Compared with Cycloplegic Refraction in a Chicago School-Aged Population. Ophthalmology 2022;129(7):813-820.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate differences between autorefraction measurements with and without cycloplegia among school-aged individuals and to explore factors associated with significant differences. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, retrospective study. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals between 3 and 22 years of age evaluated at the Illinois College of Optometry from September 2016 through June 2019 who underwent same-day noncycloplegic and cycloplegic autorefraction of the right eye. METHODS: Demographic information including age, sex, and race or ethnicity were collected during the eye examination. Autorefraction was performed before and after cycloplegia. Myopia, defined as at least -0.50 diopter (D) spherical equivalent (SE), hyperopia, defined as at least +0.50 D SE, and astigmatism of at least 1.00 D cylinder were determined using noncycloplegic and cycloplegic autorefractions. Factors associated with at least 1.00 D more myopic SE or at least 0.75 D cylindrical difference by noncycloplegic autorefraction were assessed using logistic regression models. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Differences between noncycloplegic and cycloplegic autorefraction measurements. RESULTS: The mean age was 10.8 ± 4.0 years for the 11 119 individuals; 52.4% of participants were female. Noncycloplegic SE measured 0.65 ± 1.04 D more myopic than cycloplegic SE. After adjusting for demographic factors and refractive error, individuals with at least 1.00 D of more myopic SE refraction by noncycloplegic autorefraction (25.9%) were more likely to be younger than 5 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-1.79) and 5 to younger than 10 years (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.18-1.48) than those 10 to younger than 15 years. This difference of at least 1.00 D of more myopic SE was more likely to be observed in Hispanic people (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.10-1.36) and those with hyperopia (OR range, 4.20-13.31). Individuals with 0.75 D or more of cylindrical difference (5.1%) between refractions were more likely to be younger than 5 years, to be male, and to have mild-moderate-high myopia or moderate-high hyperopia. CONCLUSIONS: Three quarters of school-aged individuals had < 1 D of myopic SE difference using noncycloplegic compared with cycloplegic autorefraction. Understanding measurement differences obtained for refractive error and associated factors may provide useful information for future studies or programs involving refraction in school-aged children.
Ramke J, Evans JR, Habtamu E, Mwangi N, Silva JC, Swenor BK, Congdon N, Faal HB, Foster A, Friedman DS, Gichuhi S, Jonas JB, Khaw PT, Kyari F, Murthy GVS, Wang N, Wong TY, Wormald R, Yusufu M, Taylor H, Resnikoff S, West SK, Burton MJ, in study group GCGEH. Grand Challenges in global eye health: a global prioritisation process using Delphi method. Lancet Healthy Longev 2022;3(1):e31-e41.Abstract
Background: We undertook a Grand Challenges in Global Eye Health prioritisation exercise to identify the key issues that must be addressed to improve eye health in the context of an ageing population, to eliminate persistent inequities in health-care access, and to mitigate widespread resource limitations. Methods: Drawing on methods used in previous Grand Challenges studies, we used a multi-step recruitment strategy to assemble a diverse panel of individuals from a range of disciplines relevant to global eye health from all regions globally to participate in a three-round, online, Delphi-like, prioritisation process to nominate and rank challenges in global eye health. Through this process, we developed both global and regional priority lists. Findings: Between Sept 1 and Dec 12, 2019, 470 individuals complete round 1 of the process, of whom 336 completed all three rounds (round 2 between Feb 26 and March 18, 2020, and round 3 between April 2 and April 25, 2020) 156 (46%) of 336 were women, 180 (54%) were men. The proportion of participants who worked in each region ranged from 104 (31%) in sub-Saharan Africa to 21 (6%) in central Europe, eastern Europe, and in central Asia. Of 85 unique challenges identified after round 1, 16 challenges were prioritised at the global level; six focused on detection and treatment of conditions (cataract, refractive error, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, services for children and screening for early detection), two focused on addressing shortages in human resource capacity, five on other health service and policy factors (including strengthening policies, integration, health information systems, and budget allocation), and three on improving access to care and promoting equity. Interpretation: This list of Grand Challenges serves as a starting point for immediate action by funders to guide investment in research and innovation in eye health. It challenges researchers, clinicians, and policy makers to build collaborations to address specific challenges. Funding: The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Moorfields Eye Charity, National Institute for Health Research Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, Wellcome Trust, Sightsavers, The Fred Hollows Foundation, The Seva Foundation, British Council for the Prevention of Blindness, and Christian Blind Mission. Translations: For the French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic and Persian translations of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
Nahum AS, Vongsachang H, Friedman DS, Collins ME. Parental Trust in School-Based Health Care: A Systematic Review. J Sch Health 2022;92(1):79-91.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Health care delivery in schools is a frequently adopted approach to reduce health care inequalities. Lack of parental trust has been identified as impacting participation in school-based health care programs (SBHPs). The aim of our systematic review is to outline themes related to parental trust in SBHPs. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINHAL, ERIC, PsycInfo, and Web of Science for articles published between 1969 and 2019. Eligible studies (1) were peer-reviewed primary research articles; (2) were school-based health interventions or screening programs; (3) included parental trust data; and (4) were carried out on schoolchildren from pre-K to grade 12. Study location, data collection date, number of participants, demographics, intervention type, study aim and methodology, and all trust themes mentioned, were extracted. Studies were critically appraised using the CASP checklist for qualitative research. RESULTS: We identified 9 themes related to parental trust in SBHPs: (1) safety; (2) effectiveness; (3) health professionals' training and credentials; (4) communication; (5) confidentiality; (6) providers; (7) government, authorities, and health service; (8) the pharmaceutical industry; and (9) research and data sharing. CONCLUSIONS: The themes identified provide a framework for examining trust in SBHPs, and may guide the development of interventions to increase trust and engagement in SBHPs.
Halawa OA, Kolli A, Oh G, Mitchell WG, Glynn RJ, Kim DH, Friedman DS, Zebardast N. Racial and Socioeconomic Differences in Eye Care Utilization among Medicare Beneficiaries with Glaucoma. Ophthalmology 2022;129(4):397-405.Abstract
PURPOSE: Evaluate differences in eye care utilization among patients with glaucoma by race and socioeconomic status (SES). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Representative 5% sample of Medicare beneficiaries aged > 65 years with continuous part A/B enrollment between January 1, 2014, and July 1, 2014, at least 1 diagnosis code for glaucoma within that period, and a glaucoma diagnosis in the Chronic Conditions Warehouse before January 1, 2014. METHODS: The following race/ethnicity categories were defined in our cohort: non-Hispanic White, Black/African American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander. Low SES was defined as having 2 or more enrollment-based low-income indicators (dual eligibility for Medicare/Medicaid, Part D limited income subsidies, and eligibility for Part A and B State buy-in). Negative binomial regression analyses were carried out to compare relative rate ratios (RRs) of eye care utilization among racial groups stratified by low and non-low SES. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Measured from July 1, 2014, to December 31, 2016: eye examinations and eye care-related office visits; eye care-related inpatient and emergency department (ED) encounters; eye care-related nursing home and home-visit encounters; visual field and retinal nerve fiber OCT tests; glaucoma lasers and surgeries. RESULTS: Among 78 526 participants with glaucoma, mean age was 79.1 years (standard deviation, 7.9 years), 60.9% were female, 78.4% were non-Hispanic White, and 13.8% met enrollment-based criteria for low-SES. Compared with White beneficiaries, Blacks had lower counts of outpatient visits (RR, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.90-0.93), visual field (VF) tests (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90-0.94), but more inpatient/ED encounters (RR, 2.42; 95% CI, 1.55-3.78) and surgeries (RR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.03-1.27). Hispanics had fewer outpatient visits (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95-0.98) and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) OCT tests (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.86-0.93), but more inpatient/ED encounters (RR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.18-4.57) and selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) (RR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.11-1.42) versus non-Hispanic Whites. In the non-low SES group, Black versus White disparities persisted in outpatient visits (RR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.92-0.95), VF (RR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.98), RNFL OCT (RR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.78-0.83), and inpatient/ED encounters (RR, 2.57; 95% CI, 1.55-4.26). CONCLUSIONS: Disparities were found in eye care utilization among Black and Hispanic patients with glaucoma. These differences persisted among Blacks after stratification by SES, suggesting that systemic racism may be an independent driver in this population.
Kretz AM, Vongsachang H, Friedman DS, Callan J, Wahl M, Mukherjee RM, Neitzel A, Collins ME. Stakeholders' Perceptions of a School-Based Eye Care Programme in Baltimore, MD. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2022;29(3):252-261.Abstract
PURPOSE: To explore stakeholders' perceptions of a school-based vision programme (SBVP). METHODS: We conducted 20 focus groups with 105 parents and teachers at schools in Baltimore, MD, that participated in a SBVP. Facilitators used a semi-structured interview guide to discuss participants' perceptions of the SBVP. Focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS: Participant perceptions fell into three categories: benefits of school-based eye care, limitations of school-based eye care, and observation of impact. The majority of participants had positive comments about the programme; benefits included convenience (location, time, and cost), the comprehensive nature of the programme, the quality of the eyeglasses and ability to receive replacements, and a positive screening/exam experience. Limitations of programme impact were related to communication and organisation, the time to receive the glasses, missed instructional time, and uncertainty about screenings. Observations of impact included academic and classroom improvements, as well as visual and other health improvements. CONCLUSION: Parents and teachers reported mostly positive perceptions regarding the SBVP. Their appreciation for the convenience underscores that location, cost, time, and comprehensive services are crucial aspects for implementing a successful programme. To maximize impact, programs must also implement robust communication campaigns that integrate into the schools' workflow to help parents and teachers stay engaged in the process from start to finish.
Mudie LI, Guo X, Slavin RE, Madden N, Wolf R, Owoeye J, Friedman DS, Repka MX, Collins ME. Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study: vision outcomes of school-based eye care. Can J Ophthalmol 2022;57(1):36-40.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: There are unmet needs for refractive correction in the pediatric population, especially in high-poverty communities. We reported the impact of refractive correction on vision outcomes over a 2-year follow-up in the Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study. DESIGN: Prospective, school-based cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Students of second and third grades who were prescribed glasses during baseline assessment. METHODS: We conducted baseline eye exams in 12 Baltimore public schools during the fall of school year 2014-15 with follow-up visits in the spring of school year 2014-15 (first follow-up) and school year 2015-16 (second follow-up). Visual acuity (VA) was measured at distance and near with correction. Refractive status was determined based on the eye with the larger refractive error and categorized as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: VA in better-seeing and worse-seeing eye at first and second follow-up, and acuity improvement from baseline. RESULTS: In the 206 students (84% African American) who completed the first follow-up, both distance (from 0.14 ± 0.20 to 0.05 ± 0.10 logMAR) and near presenting VA (from 0.08 ± 0.16 to 0.03 ± 0.06 logMAR) improved from the baseline assessment; children with more severe hyperopia showed improvement in near VA by 0.05 ± 0.16 logMAR. Children who were prescribed glasses through a school-based research study had improved vision, which was sustained into the following school year. CONCLUSIONS: Many second and third graders in Baltimore Schools needed refractive correction and benefited from provision of glasses with sustained vision improvement over the 2-year observation.
Collins ME, Guo X, Mudie LI, Slavin RE, Madden N, Chang D, Owoeye J, Repka MX, Friedman DS. Baseline vision results from the Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study. Can J Ophthalmol 2022;57(1):29-35.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: We describe the Baltimore Reading and Eye Disease Study, report baseline ocular findings, and explore the feasibility of eye examinations in the school setting. DESIGN: Prospective, school-based cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Students in second and third grades. METHODS: Baseline eye examinations, including near and distance presenting visual acuity (VA), stereopsis, ocular alignment, dilated retinal examination, and cycloplegic refraction, were performed in 12 Baltimore public schools during the 2014-15 school year. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Presenting VA, prevalence of refractive error, and other ocular findings. RESULTS: Among the 1054 eligible students, 321 participated. There were 271 (84.4%) African American and 186 (57.9%) female students; mean age was 7.9 ± 0.8 years. Cycloplegia was achieved in 308. The mean presenting distance and near VA was 0.1 ± 0.2 logMAR (range -0.1 to 1.5) and 0.1 ± 0.2 logMAR (range 0.0-1.6) in the better-seeing eye, respectively. The most common ocular findings were +1.00 diopter (D) or greater hyperopia (34.7%), -0.50 D or greater myopia (29.5%), 1.00 D or greater astigmatism (23.4%), and convergence insufficiency (7.2%). Thirty-seven (11.5%) children needed referral to an eye care provider; 10% of students required glasses full-time. CONCLUSIONS: Whereas the majority of second and third grade students in this study have good VA and minimal refractive error, 1 in 9 have an ocular finding necessitating further evaluation. It was feasible to conduct cycloplegic eye examinations in the school setting.
Guo X, Friedman DS, Repka MX, Collins ME. Visual acuity and refractive findings in children prescribed glasses from a school-based vision program. J AAPOS 2021;Abstract
PURPOSE: We report visual acuity improvement and refractive profiles in children prescribed glasses by a school-based vision program (SBVP) in Baltimore, Maryland. METHODS: In this cross-sectional analysis, pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students who failed vision screening underwent an eye examination. Students prescribed glasses are included. Visual acuity improvement was the difference between presenting and best-corrected visual acuity based on noncycloplegic manifest refraction. Clinically significant refractive error (CSRE) was defined as ≥0.75 D myopia, ≥2.00 D hyperopia without strabismus, ≥1.00 D hyperopia with esodeviation, or ≥1.50 D astigmatism AND presenting visual acuity ≤20/40 or ≥2-line difference with the better-seeing eye ≤20/30. Characteristics associated with greater visual acuity improvement were explored. RESULTS: Of the 4,972 students, mean age was 9.4 ± 2.7 years; 77% were black, and 18% were Hispanic. Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and CSRE were found in 65%, 24%, 60%, and 46% students, respectively. In the better-seeing eyes, 70% gained ≥2 lines. Of students with CSRE, improvement of at least 5 lines in the worse-seeing eye increased from 30.9% in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to 77.3% in 7th and 8th grade (Ptrend < 0.001). Students with CSRE had a higher rate of gaining at least 2 lines' improvement in their worse-seeing eyes compared with those without (98.7% vs 80.6%). Older students as well as blacks and Hispanics were more likely to have improvement of at least 2 lines. CONCLUSIONS: Most students prescribed glasses from our SBVP had clinically significant visual deficits corrected.

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