Parent and Teacher Perspectives on Factors Decreasing Participation in School-Based Vision Programs


Vongsachang H, Friedman DS, Inns A, Kretz AM, Mukherjee MR, Callan J, Wahl M, Repka MX, Collins ME. Parent and Teacher Perspectives on Factors Decreasing Participation in School-Based Vision Programs. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2020;27(3):226-236.

Date Published:

2020 Jun


: To examine factors decreasing participation in school-based vision programs from parent and teacher perspectives.: We conducted 41 semi-structured focus groups (20 parent groups, 21 teacher/staff groups), at 10 Baltimore and 11 Chicago public elementary and middle schools offering school-based vision programs. School-based vision programs provided vision screening, eye exams, and eyeglasses if needed. Focus groups ranged in size from 2-9 participants (median = 5). Sessions were recorded, transcribed, and coded through an iterative process to develop themes using inductive analysis.: Ninety parents and 117 teachers/staff participated. Participants identified five major factors decreasing participation in school-based vision programs: (1) challenges with the consent form, including distribution, collection, and literacy and language barriers; (2) having existing eye care; (3) misunderstandings about the program, especially related to cost and insurance; (4) difficulty raising parental awareness of the program; and (5) certain attitudes towards vision, eye care, and school-based programs, including low prioritization of eye care, mistrust of the program, fear of sharing private information, not believing their child needs glasses, and reluctance accepting 'subsidized' services.: Parents and teachers identified important structural barriers to participation (i.e., consent form challenges and low parental awareness) and specific reasons for non-participation (i.e., attitudes, misunderstanding of the program, existing eye care) in school-based vision programs. Effective strategies are needed to facilitate return of consent forms and promote awareness of school-based vision programs among parents. Programs should also target services towards those currently without access to eye care and increase awareness about paediatric vision needs.

Last updated on 06/30/2020