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.
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.
Burton MJ, Ramke J, Marques AP, Bourne RRA, Congdon N, Jones I, Ah Tong BAM, Arunga S, Bachani D, Bascaran C, Bastawrous A, Blanchet K, Braithwaite T, Buchan JC, Cairns J, Cama A, Chagunda M, Chuluunkhuu C, Cooper A, Crofts-Lawrence J, Dean WH, Denniston AK, Ehrlich JR, Emerson PM, Evans JR, Frick KD, Friedman DS, Furtado JM, Gichangi MM, Gichuhi S, Gilbert SS, Gurung R, Habtamu E, Holland P, Jonas JB, Keane PA, Keay L, Khanna RC, Khaw PT, Kuper H, Kyari F, Lansingh VC, Mactaggart I, Mafwiri MM, Mathenge W, McCormick I, Morjaria P, Mowatt L, Muirhead D, Murthy GVS, Mwangi N, Patel DB, Peto T, Qureshi BM, Salomão SR, Sarah V, Shilio BR, Solomon AW, Swenor BK, Taylor HR, Wang N, Webson A, West SK, Wong TY, Wormald R, Yasmin S, Yusufu M, Silva JC, Resnikoff S, Ravilla T, Gilbert CE, Foster A, Faal HB. The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020. Lancet Glob Health 2021;9(4):e489-e551.
AIMS: To assess knowledge of diabetes and acceptance of eye care among people with diabetes in rural China, to improve service uptake. METHODS: Population-based study of people in Guangdong, China, with glycosylated haemoglobin A1c≥6.5% and/or known history of diabetes. Between August and November 2014, participants answered a questionnaire (based on Delphi process/previous focus groups) on medical history, demographic characteristics, self-rated health and vision, knowledge about diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, quality of local healthcare, barriers to treatment, likely acceptance of eye exams and treatment, and interventions rated most likely to improve service uptake. Presenting visual acuity was assessed, fundus photography performed and images graded by trained graders. Potential predictors of accepting care were evaluated and confounders adjusted for using logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 562 people (9.6% (256/5825), mean age 66.2±9.84 years, 207 (36.8%) men) had diabetes, 118 (22.3%) previously diagnosed. 'Very likely' or 'likely' acceptance of laser treatment (140/530=26.4%) was lower than for eye exams (317/530=59.8%, p<0.001). Predictors of accepting both exams and laser included younger age (p<.001) and prior awareness of diabetes diagnosis (p=0.004 and p=0.035, respectively). The leading barrier to receiving diabetes treatment was unawareness of diagnosis (409/454, 97.2%), while interventions rated most likely to improve acceptance of eye exams included reimbursement of travel costs (387/562, 73.0%), video or other health education (359/562, 67.7%) and phone call reminders (346/562, 65.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Improving diagnosis of diabetes, along with incentives, education and communication strategies, is most likely to enhance poor acceptance of diabetic eye care in this setting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PURPOSE: To report refractive error findings in Baltimore City schoolchildren who failed school-based vision screenings. METHODS: In this cross-sectional analysis, students pre-kindergarten through 8th grade who failed screenings during school years 2016-2019 received an eye examination, including non-cycloplegic autorefraction and visual acuity (VA) measurements. Refractive error was identified when there was at least: -0.50 diopter (D) spherical equivalent (SE) myopia, +0.50D SE hyperopia, 1.00D astigmatism, or 1.00D anisometropia in either eye. Generalized estimating equation models were used to identify factors associated with clinically significant refractive error, defined as decreased VA and more severe refractive error. RESULTS: Of 7520 students who failed screening, 6627 (88%) were analyzed. Clinically significant refractive error and any refractive error were found in 2352 (35.5%) and 5952 (89.8%) students, respectively. Mild myopia (45%, -0.50 D to <-3.00 D SE) and low astigmatism (47%, 1.00 D to <3.00 D cylinder) were the most prevalent types of refractive error. Proportions of students with myopia increased with higher grade levels (Ptrend<0.001). Myopia and astigmatism were more common in black and Latinx. Risk factors for clinically significant refractive error included higher grades (odds ratios [OR] ranged from 1.30 to 2.19 compared with 1st grade, P < .05) and Latinx ethnicity (OR = 1.31, 95%CI: 1.08-1.59). CONCLUSION: A Baltimore school-based vision program identified a substantial number of students with refractive error in a high-poverty urban community. Over 1/3 students who failed vision screening had clinically significant refractive error, with black and Latinx students at higher risk of having myopia and astigmatism.
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.
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.
PURPOSE: To determine the six-year incidence, risk factors, and causes of visual impairment in a Chinese population. METHODS: This was a population-based study of eye disease in Chinese adults in a rural district of Handan in China. 6,830 individuals were invited to participate in 2006 and 5,394 returned for follow-up in 2012. All participants underwent standardized eye examinations. Visual impairment was defined according to WHO criteria. The incidence of visual impairment was age- and gender-standardized to the 2010 China Census. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to determine risk factors for visual impairment. RESULTS: The leading causes of visual impairment were cataract and refractive error. Based on (PVA), the six-year incidence rates of low vision and blindness were 5.2% and 0.5%, respectively. Incidence of low vision was associated with older age ( < .001), less education ( < .001), diabetes ( < .05), and lower BMI ( < .001). The incidence of blindness was associated with diabetes ( < .05). Based on (BCVA), the six-year incidence rates of low vision and blindness were 0.8% and 0.1%, respectively. Incidence of low vision was associated with older age ( < .001) and lower BMI ( < .05). None of these factors were associated with the incidence of blindness. CONCLUSION: In Handan, the incidence of visual impairment was high and associated with older age, less education, diabetes, and lower BMI. The majority of cases were due to unoperated cataract and uncorrected refractive error, reflecting the need for improved eye care in this region.
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.
Objective: To describe the rational for, and the methods that will be employed to develop, the WHO package of eye care interventions (PECI). Methods and analysis: The development of the package will be conducted in four steps: (1) selection of eye conditions (for which interventions will be included in the package) based on epidemiological data on the causes of vision impairment and blindness, prevalence estimates of eye conditions and health facility data; (2) identification of interventions and related evidence for the selected eye conditions from clinical practice guidelines and high-quality systematic reviews by a technical working group; (3) expert agreement on the inclusion of eye care interventions in the package and the description of resources required for the provision of the selected interventions; and (4) peer review. The project will be led by the WHO Vision Programme in collaboration with Cochrane Eyes and Vision. A Technical Advisory Group, comprised of public health and clinical experts in the field, will provide technical input throughout all stages of development. Results: After considering the feedback of Technical Advisory Group members and reviewing-related evidence, a final list of eye conditions for which interventions will be included in the package has been collated. Conclusion: The PECI will support Ministries of Health in prioritising, planning, budgeting and integrating eye care interventions into health systems. It is anticipated that the PECI will be available for use in 2021.
Kempen JH, Abashawl A, Suga HK, Nigussie Difabachew M, Kempen CJ, Tesfaye Debele M, Menkir AA, Assefa MT, Asfaw EH, Habtegabriel LB, Sitotaw Addisie Y, Nilles EJ, Longenecker JC. SARS-CoV-2 Serosurvey in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2020;103(5):2022-2023.Abstract
In a serosurvey of asymptomatic people from the general population recruited from a clinical laboratory in May 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, three of 99 persons tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG (3.0%, 95% binomial exact confidence interval: 0.6-8.6%). Taking into account pretest probability and the sampling scheme, the range of plausible population prevalence values was approximately 1.0-8.4%. These results suggest that a larger number of people have been infected than the counts detected by surveillance to date; nevertheless, the results suggest the large majority of the general population in Addis Ababa currently is susceptible to COVID-19.
Community-based screening programs have had limited success in preventing vision loss from glaucoma due to overall low prevalence of glaucoma, screening limitations, and barriers to follow-up appointments. This editorial highlights lessons learned from 2 large prospective trials: the Philadelphia Telemedicine Glaucoma Detection and Follow-up Study and the Screening To Prevent Glaucoma Study. While some lessons are specific to ophthalmology, many lessons are applicable to screening for asymptomatic diseases in underserved, vulnerable communities.
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.
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.
BACKGROUND/AIM: To investigate the prevalence, causes and risk factors of visual impairment (VI) among the elderly in 'home for the aged' in Hyderabad, India. METHODS: Individuals aged ≥60 years were recruited from 41 'homes for the aged'. All participants had complete eye examinations including presenting visual acuity, refraction, slit-lamp examination, intraocular pressure measurement and fundus imaging by trained clinicians. VI was defined as presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 in the better eye. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the risk factors associated with VI. RESULTS: 1512 elderly residents from 41 homes for the aged were enumerated, of whom 1182 (78.1%) were examined. The mean age of examined participants was 75.0 years (SD 8.8 years; range: 60-108 years); 35.4% of those examined were men. The prevalence of VI was 30.1% (95% CI 27.5 to 32.8). The leading cause of VI was cataract (46.3%, n=165), followed by uncorrected refractive error (27.0%, n=96), posterior capsular opacification (14.9%, n=53) and posterior segment disease (6.5%, n=23). Overall, 88.2% of the VI was either treatable or correctable. In multiple logistic regression, those aged 80 years and older (OR: 1.7, p<0.01), living in 'free' homes (OR: 1.5, p<0.01) and who were immobile/bedridden (OR: 3.02, p<0.01) had significantly higher odds of VI. Gender was not associated with VI. CONCLUSIONS: VI was common and largely avoidable in residents of 'homes for the aged' in Hyderabad, India. Screening for vision loss in 'homes for aged' and the provision of appropriate services should become routine practice to achieve the goal of healthy ageing in India.
We evaluated the prevalence of falls and their association with visual impairment (VI) in elderly residents in 'homes for the aged' in Hyderabad, India. Participants aged ≥ 60 years were recruited from 41 homes, and a comprehensive eye examination was conducted. Interviews were conducted to collect personal and demographic information, systemic health status, fear of falling, depression, and history of falls in the last year. VI categories included low vision (presenting visual acuity worse than 6/18 to 3/60) and blindness (presenting visual acuity worse than 3/60). The data of 1,074 participants were analysed. The mean age was 74.4 years (standard deviation:8.7 years); 63.9% were women, 19.4% had no formal education, 28.1% were diabetic and 56.9% were hypertensive. The annual prevalence of falls was 29.1% (95% CI: 26.4-32.0). Multivariable analysis showed those with VI had significantly higher odds of falls (Odds Ratio:1.47; p = 0.043). The prevalence of falls was higher among those with VI due to uncorrected refractive errors. We found a very high prevalence of falls in elderly individuals living in 'homes for the aged' in Hyderabad, India. Addressing VI can result in fewer falls and contribute to healthy aging in India.